BOSTON (AP)—Celtics point guard Sebastian Telfair had spent the last few days trying to downplay the significance of playing against his former team for the first time.
But after recording 15 points and seven assists to lead Boston over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, Telfair couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief.
“If felt good,” said Telfair, who was the centerpiece of an offseason five-player trade that sent him from Portland to Boston. “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. I wouldn’t say it was like revenge or anything—I’m not holding a grudge that bad. But I’m happy that we went out there and played the way we did.”
Boston, which outscored Indiana 67-43 in the second half of its 114-88 win on Wednesday, outscored Portland 68-47 in the second half Friday.
Pierce scored 12 points in the third quarter to help the Celtics take a 77-65 lead. Delonte West then scored 13 of his 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the fourth quarter as Boston scored on its first 10 possessions of the period to put the game out of reach.
“Really frustrating,” Portland forward Zach Randolph said. “We were in the game in the first and second quarters. Second half we came out and we couldn’t bounce back. Pierce came down hit big shots, and from there we just fell in the hole.”
None of Boston’s starters had to play in the fourth quarter, as the Celtics’ second unit pushed the lead to 35 at one point.
Randolph had 23 points and 12 rebounds and Ime Udoka added 14 points for the Blazers, who have lost four straight after getting off to a surprising 4-2 start.
“We’re not playing good basketball right now,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “We are giving up points way too easy and then you start searching for people that can help you, and the only people that can help you are yourselves.”
Telfair, who averaged 8.1 points and 3.5 assists in two seasons with Portland, helped Boston take control early.
Telfair scored 13 points in the first half as Boston jumped out to a 50-43 lead. He had six points and three assists in the second quarter as Boston outscored Portland 30-23.
“I was honestly worried about Sebastian going into this game because usually young players playing against their (former) team want to show them they made a mistake,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said. “And he didn’t do that at all, so that was really nice.”
Pierce’s layup with 1:59 remaining in the half broke a 39-all tie, then Telfair assisted on Szczerbiak’s 3-pointer to push the lead to 44-39. Boston never trailed again.
After shooting just 2-of-9 in the first half, Randolph scored Portland’s first five points of the second half to help the Trail Blazers pull within 52-51. But Szczerbiak scored seven points during an 8-0 run to help the Celtics extend their lead to 60-51.
The Trail Blazers then clawed back to 62-58 with 4:36 remaining in the third, but Pierce extended Boston’s lead with a 3-pointer on the other end.
Boston outscored Portland 41-25 in the fourth quarter.
Boston center Michael Olowokandi will be sidelined two to four weeks because of a slight tear in his abdominal muscle. … Boston rookie guard Rajon Rondo recorded the first blocked shot of his career when he swatted a jumper by Sergio Rodriguez into the stands early in the second quarter. … Portland rookie guard Brandon Roy was active, but didn’t travel with the team while recovering from a sore left heel. … The Trail Blazers have lost three straight in Boston. … West was charged with a flagrant foul late in the third quarter.