NBA: Nurkic, Trail Blazers power past Celtics

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 22 2022 11:52 AM

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum dives for a loose ball against Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic and forward Nassir Little in their game January 21, 2022. Paul Rutherford, USA Today Sports/Reuters
Celtics forward Jayson Tatum dives for a loose ball against Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic and forward Nassir Little in their game January 21, 2022. Paul Rutherford, USA Today Sports/Reuters

Jusuf Nurkic had 29 points and 17 rebounds as the visiting Portland Trail Blazers held the Boston Celtics without a field goal for the final 7:19 of the game in a 109-105 victory Friday night.

Robert Covington hit a 3-pointer to give Portland a 103-102 lead with 32 seconds left before Jayson Tatum made 2 foul shots 6 seconds later to put Boston ahead.

Nurkic's hook shot gave the Blazers the lead with 13 seconds left, and he sealed the victory with 2 free throws with 0.8 seconds left.

CJ McCollum contributed 24 points, Anfernee Simons added 21, and Ben McLemore had 12 for Portland, which avenged a 145-117 loss to the Celtics on December 4.

Tatum scored 27 to pace Boston, which lost its 2nd straight and fell 1 game under .500 at 23-24. Jaylen Brown scored 22 points, Grant Williams added 13 and Romeo Langford had 12.

Boston took its biggest lead of the game at 100-89 with 7:19 to play after Langford and Payton Pritchard hit consecutive 3-pointers and Williams scored on a layup.

Portland answered with 11 straight points and tied the game at 100 on Nassir Little's dunk with 1:37 remaining.

Brown made 2 foul shots with 41.5 seconds left to break a Celtics' scoring drought that lasted nearly 7 minutes.

Portland made 6 of its first 8 3-point attempts and took a 30-25 lead into the 2nd quarter. The Blazers extended their lead to 15 before Boston responded with a 22-5 run.

Brown drilled a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Celtics a 58-54 advantage at the half.

Robert Williams III returned following a 2-game absence and had 5 points and 10 rebounds for Boston, which shot 11 of 37 (29.7 percent) from 3-point range.

Tatum was 0-for-6 from 3-point range and has missed his last 20 shots from beyond the arc.

Boston played its sixth straight game without forward Marcus Smart, who is working on his conditioning following a stint in the health and safety protocol.