Published May 02, 2016
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Celtics evened their record on this current western road trip and will try for a second straight victory Friday when they visit the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
The C's opened the sojourn with a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, but collected an impressive victory Thursday night with a 90-89 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Evan Turner nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer with a second remaining to lead the Celtics past the LaMarcus Aldridge-less Blazers.
Jared Sullinger missed a potential go-ahead triple before tracking down the rebound following a scramble and calling a timeout with 8.5 seconds to play. Sullinger then got the ball at the right elbow, but Wesley Matthews poked it away.
Sullinger retrieved the ball in the paint and from a sitting position, found a wide open Turner in the right corner and he knocked down the trey to put the Celtics in front.
Portland was unable to get off another shot at the other end.
"For sure," Turner said when asked if he liked taking clutch shots. "I love them even more when they go in."
Sullinger finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, Avery Bradley posted 18 points and four assists and Brandon Bass added 13 points and 10 boards for the Celtics, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Turner managed 10 points.
The Celtics still have to visit the Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Nuggets have lost four in a row after a five-game winning streak. Denver has dropped two straight at home and still has a date with the Washington Wizards on this homestand.
The stay started poorly with a 109-99 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.
Kenneth Faried paced the Nuggets with 26 points and 14 rebounds, while Arron Afflalo added 21 points for the Nuggets. Wilson Chandler managed 11 points and Jusuf Nurkic contributed 10 points.
"We have to be better," Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw said. "We have to dig deeper because what we're doing isn't working."
Denver was coming off a 43-point loss to Golden State on Monday but stayed competitive Tuesday before the Spurs took control.
Kawhi Leonard made two 3-pointers during a fourth quarter-opening 11-2 run that gave the visitors a 91-78 advantage. The closest Denver got from there was eight before Tony Parker made a 3-pointer and 19-footer inside the final two minutes to keep the Nuggets at bay.
These two teams made a minor trade a few weeks ago that sent Jameer Nelson to the Nuggets and Nate Robinson to Boston. The Celtics waived Robinson and Nelson had eight points versus the Spurs.
Boston and Denver have split the last 10 meetings, but the Nuggets have won five straight as the host in this series.