Jaylen Brown rescues the Celtics after blowing 24-point lead: The Celtics looked like they had this one wrapped up early in the second half after building a 24-point lead that remained steady in the double-digits. The Blazers are a desperate team playing for the postseason however and have a top-10 player in the game in Damian Lillard. The All-Star started to get hot as the C’s defense slacked, turning a 24-point deficit into a four-point lead midway through the fourth quarter behind 22 second-half points. The Celtics managed to counter late however despite the fact that Kemba Walker (minutes limit) was watching from the bench — thanks to the scoring heroics of Jayson Tatum (34 points) and Jaylen Brown (30 points). Brown was the star late with 16 of his 30 points coming in the final frame, including a dagger 3-pointer to put the Celtics up six with 30 seconds remaining. Brown was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field in the quarter and made all four shots from 3-point range. The C’s need all of them to secure the win.
It was the first win for the C’s in the Orlando bubble and pulls them a full two games ahead of the Heat in the race for the No. 3 seed — with a matchup looming between the two squads on Tuesday night in Orlando.