The Celtics lost their opener Friday night, a controversial 119-112 defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks.
No Celtic played more minutes than Gordon Hayward‘s 34 and Boston used 10 players in the game. Portland, on the other hand, used just eight players in its overtime win over Memphis and needed CJ McCollum for 46 minutes and Damian Lillard for 45.
The fewest minutes any of the five Trail Blazer starters played was 33, by Jusuf Nurkic.
Boston gave the Eastern Conference leaders a good go and had the game tied at 107 with 1:28 left when Giannis Antetokounmpo drove down the lane for a layup, but was called for a charging foul — his sixth.
But the call was reviewed and reversed, with the Celtics’ Marcus Smart being called for a block. That meant that instead of Antetokounmpo being out of the game with six fouls and the score tied, he was still on the floor, his shot counted and the Bucks had a two-point lead.
As you might imagine, Smart was not very pleased with the call:
”Quite frankly, I think we know all what that was all about. Giannis’ sixth foul and they didn’t want to get him out,” Smart said.
In the teams’ only previous meeting this season, Feb. 25 in Portland, the Celtics coasted to a 118-106 win behind 30 points from Jayson Tatum.
Tatum had a miserable shooting game Friday against the Bucks, making just 2 of his 18 shots, 1 of 2 free throws and scoring 5 points.
The Celtics made just 11 of 37 from three-point range vs. Milwaukee.
Portland, which did not schedule a practice Saturday, and Boston meet Sunday at 12:30, with coverage starting with Blazer Warm-Up at 11:30, on the exclusive home of the Trail Blazers, NBC Sports Northwest.