The Portland Trail Blazers were in danger of yet another heartbreaking loss after giving up an eight-point fourth quarter lead to the Boston Celtics on Sunday night. But Damian Lillard's and-1 layup with 1:31 left broke a tie at 86 and helped propel the Blazers to a 92-86 victory at the Rose Garden to end a seven-game losing streak.
Wesley Matthews scored a game-high 24 points, and it was his 3-pointer in the final minute that proved to be the dagger after Paul Pierce missed a potential game-tying three just moments before. All five Blazers starters scored in double figures, with Lillard putting up 11 points, six assists and five rebounds and Nicolas Batum pouring in 18 points.
The Blazers jumped out to a strong start, grabbing a 27-22 lead after the first quarter and taking a 49-42 lead into the break. The Celtics quickly surged ahead at the start of the third quarter, but Portland was able to right the ship, grabbing an eight-point lead midway through the fourth before coming up big late to avoid an eighth straight loss.
Pierce had 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in the loss for Boston. Kevin Garnett added 20 points and nine rebounds.
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