The Celtics earned their first victory with a 107-73 rout in New York on Saturday after losing their first two at home.
Boston shot 56 percent (43-for-77), and got 28 points from Paul Pierce and 20 from Ricky Davis against the Knicks. Gary Payton, acquired in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, chipped in nine points, leaving him 15 shy of becoming the 29th player in NBA history to score 20,000.
Pierce, who shot 10-for-18 from the field, also had 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Celtics avoided an 0-3 start. Boston lost its first two games by a combined nine points after blowing fourth quarter leads.
“We played with a little better sense of urgency today,” said Pierce, whose team held a 45-31 rebounding advantage on Saturday. “Our back was against the wall and we really don’t want go down 0-3 against a divisional rival and I took care of business. The last two games we really should have won and I think today we really came together.”
After opening the season with two straight wins, the Trail Blazers have dropped two in a row, including Tuesday’s 64-60 loss at New Jersey in what was nearly the lowest scoring game in modern NBA history.
The 124-point total was only five off the previous record for combined scoring futility. Boston beat Milwaukee 62-57 in a game at Providence, R.I., in 1955, the first year of the NBA’s 24-second clock.
Zach Randolph had 16 points to lead Portland, which shot 24 percent (19-for-78), including 3-for-19 from 3-point range.
The Blazers have won the last five meetings at Boston since a 102-101 loss on March 1, 1998. They have won 15 of the last 20 in the series overall.