Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/10

Game 1: Wednesday, November 10th
Trail Blazers88Final
Game 2: Thursday, December 9th
Trail Blazers89

Trail Blazers 88

(2-3, 1-3 away)

Celtics 90

(2-2, 1-2 home)

    7:00 PM ET, November 10, 2004

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 22 17 25 2488
    BOS 27 26 18 1990

    Top Performers

    Por: Z. Randolph 22 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast

    Bos: R. LaFrentz 18 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Blk

    Payton scores 15, reaches 20,000 for his career

    BOSTON (AP) -- Paul Pierce left the Portland Trail Blazers feeling the pain of a last-second loss.

    Pierce returned from taking a hit in the mouth in the final minute to make a 17-foot fallaway jumper as time expired that gave the Boston Celtics a 90-88 victory over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

    Pierce played with a mouth guard following seven hours of dental surgery Monday after being hit with an elbow in Saturday's game at New York. He was down after getting hit in the mouth during a battle for a rebound with 34 seconds left against Portland.

    But after slowly walking over to the bench with the trainer during a timeout, Pierce came back out for the final possession.

    "I got poked in the eye (too)," Pierce said. "I took a bit of a beating there at the end, but paid them back."

    Gary Payton scored 15 points for Boston and became the 29th player in NBA history to reach 20,000. It was the first home win for coach Doc Rivers.

    Zach Randolph of the Trail Blazers hit the second of two free throws to tie it at 88 with 19 seconds left. Celtics guard Ricky Davis gave the ball to Pierce at the top of the key. Pierce then motioned for his teammates to clear out before hitting the game-winner from the left side.

    "If I was new to the league I'd be surprised," Boston center Mark Blount said. "That's what he does. That's why I walked off the floor when he took the shot."

    Pierce led the Celtics with 20 points and Raef LaFrentz had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

    "I wasn't sure what kind of vision he had," LaFrentz said. "He got hit pretty hard in the face."

    Randolph led the Trail Blazers with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Darius Miles had 21 points, 14 in the fourth quarter.

    Portland lost its first game of a three-game road trip when Toronto's Vince Carter nailed a 3-pointer late in a 101-97 loss.

    "A heartbreaker tonight," Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "Another great player made another great shot to beat us."

    Portland rallied from a 20-point first-half deficit before falling to its third straight road loss.

    "I can't do much when a guy hits a fadeaway jump shot," said Ruben Patterson, who was guarding Pierce. "I tried to play him head up, but there is nothing you can do about that."

    Rivers didn't think Pierce would be back in the game until the very end of the timeout.

    "Up until the referees blowing the whistle, Paul didn't think he was going back in. He hadn't opened his eye yet," Rivers said.

    LaFrentz's free throw gave Boston an 88-87 lead with 1:37 to go.

    After Patterson's basket gave the Trail Blazers a 79-77 edge with 5:30 to play, Payton hit a 3-pointer with 5:01 left to give him 20,000 career points.

    "I'm just fortunate to be there, to be able to have an opportunity to go to 20,000 points," Payton said.

    Payton was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers during the offseason, but took a little over three months before deciding to accept the trade.

    Payton became the fourth player to reach the mark with the Celtics joining Hall of Famers Larry Bird, Robert Parish and John Havlicek.

    Patterson's short jumper with 8:12 to go gave Portland its first lead of the game, 74-73.

    Boston, which led 53-33 at halftime, went cold in the third quarter, going 5-of-17 as the Trail Blazers got within 71-64 after three quarters.

    Game notes

    Boston's Kendrick Perkins turned 20 on Wednesday. ... The Trail Blazers' 22 first-quarter points nearly matched their entire second half of a night earlier when they scored 28 in a 64-60 loss at New Jersey.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 88 90
    FGM-FGA 32-73 (.438) 33-74 (.446)
    3PM-3PA 2-14 (.143) 6-17 (.353)
    FTM-FTA 22-29 (.759) 18-23 (.783)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-39 10-40
    Assists 20 20
    Turnovers 9 12
    Steals 5 2
    Blocks 2 4
    Fast Break Points 1 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 23 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 2 20

    Top Performers

    Zach Randolph Randolph
    Points: 22
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Raef LaFrentz LaFrentz
    Points: 18
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 3