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It's over early as Blazers fall at Boston

BOSTON — The Trail Blazers were bounced quickly Friday on the way to their fourth loss in four games on a seven-game trip.

The Boston Celtics shot to an early 10-point lead, led 56-33 at the half and cruised to a 96-78 win at TD Garden.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland, 2 of 14 from the field in the second quarter, with 23 points. He was 8 of 16 from the field and 7 of 9 at the free-throw line.

The only other Blazers in double figures were big men J.J. Hickson and Meyers Leonard with 11 points each. Hickson managed just three rebounds in 26 minutes. Leonard had five rebounds in 22 minutes.

Boston played without star point guard Rajon Rondo, who began serving a two-game NBA suspension after a mini-brawl against the Brooklyn Nets.

Celtics reserve forward Jeff Green had a season-high 19 points, scoring seven in a 9-0 run early in the second quarter. Veteran guard Jason Terry added 17 points.

Boston fifth-year guard Courtney Lee, who took Rondo's spot in the starting lineup, said the team wanted to focus on making stops.

"We didn't give up any easy buckets," Lee said, "so I think we … threw the first punch."

Portland shot 34.8 percent for the game (23.3 percent in the first half), while the Celtics made 49.3 percent.

The Boston defense led to another rough night for Portland rookie point guard Damian Lillard. In 31 minutes, Lillard scored eight points, 11 below his season average.

"Boston came out really aggressive," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said, noting that Celtics coach Doc Rivers had "called them a soft team (after their Wednesday loss to the Nets).

"They had us on our heels for the first two quarters," Stotts said.

Lee added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals in a game-high 37 minutes.

Lillard is 16 of 59 (.271) from the field on the trip. He was 2 of 8 from the floor, 1 of 5 from beyond the arc and had three of Portland's 21 turnovers Friday.

Boston led by as many as 27 points in running its record to 9-7.

Portland fell to 6-10.

The Blazers' trip continues Saturday with a 4:30 p.m. PT game at Cleveland (4-12).




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