The Boston Celtics lost their first seeding game in the NBA bubble to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, and there are reasons to believe the C's will deliver a bounce-back performance Sunday versus the Portland Trail Blazers.
Celtics forward Jayson Tatum struggled mightily vs. the Bucks, scoring five points on 2-for-18 shooting. Friday was the seventh time in the 2019-20 season that Tatum has shot below 30 percent from the field. In the games that immediately followed those six matchups where he struggled, Tatum is averaging 26 points and shooting 52.1 percent, including 40.9 percent from 3-point range. The Celtics won five of those six games, too (h/t to NBC Sports Boston's Max Lederman).
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Trail Blazers, which begins Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 3:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.
Tatum scored 36 points in 34 minutes against the Blazers back in February as the C's won 118-106 in Portland.
The Blazers are not an easy opponent, however. Portland opened its seeding game schedule with a thrilling 140-135 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, and it now stands only 2.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Every game in the Orlando bubble is crucial for the Blazers as they chase a postseason berth, so Boston should expect Portland's best shot Sunday.
Here are the latest betting lines for Celtics vs. Blazers, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Point spread: Celtics -4.5 (-108), Blazers +4.5 (-113)
Moneyline: Celtics -175, Blazers +145
Point Total: Over 228 (-109), Under 228 (-112)