BOSTON (AP) — Al Horford made a 15-foot fadeaway jumper at the buzzer and the Boston Celtics finished off the Portland Trail Blazers 97-96 Sunday, giving New England fans a few hours to get home before the Super Bowl.
The crowd at TD Garden was dotted with jerseys for Patriots stars Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. A Philadelphia Eagles fan shown on the Jumbotron repeatedly got booed.
Horford wound up with 22 points and 10 rebounds, helping Boston win its fourth in a row.
Damian Lillard shot just 6 for 19, but scored Portland’s final eight points, including a 3-point play with 7.2 seconds remaining to give the Blazers a 96-95 lead.
C.J. McCollum led the Blazers with 22 points and Lillard added 21.
Boston trailed 85-79 with 5:37 to go before going on an 11-0 run, sparked by consecutive 3-pointers from Semi Ojeleye, Jayson Tatum and Horford.
Tatum had 17 points and Jaylen Brown scored 16 for the Celtics.
Terry Rozier had with 11 points on 5-of-18 shooting after recording a triple-double and a career-high 31 points in his previous two games starting in place of Celtics guard Kyrie Irving.
Portland had scored over 100 points in its previous 17 games. Lillard missed 10 of his first 11 shots.
Irving missed his third straight game with a bruised quad. … Marcus Morris missed his second with a hip injury and Shane Larkin was out for the fourth straight.
Trail Blazers: Maurice Harkless hit a career-high five 3-pointers and finished with 19. Harkless had 20 points in Portland’s last 13 games. … Portland has dropped six of eight on the road.
Celtics: Boston had more 3-pointers in the first half than two-pointers (8-5).
Trail Blazers: Visit the Detroit Pistons on Monday night.
Celtics: Visit the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.