But a funny thing happened while Boston was in the midst of its nightly episode of falling apart: The Celtics got right back on track. Ray Allen, specifically, wouldn’t let the Celtics lose. Two Ray-Ray three-pointers later, the nine-point lead was back to 15, and the C’s coasted the rest of the way, finishing with a 96-76 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Boston scoring drought that lasted from the late third quarter to early fourth was the only blemish on what was otherwise the single most complete Celtics performance I can recall. Barring the brief semi-collapse, the C’s execution was exquisite and effort was everywhere. It was a dominant game in a season bereft of blowout wins.
Had the game been at home, Gino would have been swiveling his hips on the Garden jumbotron as Shelden Williams played the part of Human Victory Cigar on the floor. But instead of playing in front of a home crowd energized by the dancing Gino, Williams finished his night before a silent crowd already streaming for the exits. Silence, in an NBA road game, always sounds so sweet.
Allen led Boston with 21 points, while Rajon Rondo tallied a double-double of 10 points and 11 assists. Kevin Garnett contributed 16 points and 7 rebounds, and Glen Davis scored 10 points to round out the C’s in double figures. Boston’s win streak hits three, and those three have all been on the road.