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Nurkic and the Blazers join the Celtics

Boston’s Jayson Tatum, left, passes Portland’s Dennis Smith Jr. during Friday’s game in Boston. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Jusuf Nurkic grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a shot from the lane with 14 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied against the Boston Celtics 109-105 on Friday night.

Nurkic had 29 points and 17 rebounds, none bigger than his plateau after Jayson Tatum gave Boston a 104-103 lead with two free throws with 26.8 seconds left.

Anfernee Simons missed at the other end, and Nurkic grabbed the ball and gently put it a few yards out. The Blazers sealed the win at the foul line.

CJ McCollum scored 24 points and Simons had 21 for Portland, which trailed by 11 midway through the fourth quarter and won only the fifth time on the road.

Tatum led Boston with 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Jaylen Brown added 22 points and Robert Williams III grabbed 10 rebounds. The Celtics couldn’t eliminate Portland in the fourth quarter and lost their second straight game.

A 3-pointer from Nurkic with 9:17 left cut Boston’s lead to 92-89, but Portland was out of scoring for nearly four minutes as the Celtics scored eight straight. The Blazers finally scored again when McCollum hit a 3 with 5:32 left, pulling Portland 100-92.

The Blazers tied it again at 100 with 1:37 remaining when Nassir Little suffered a turnover from Williams for a dunk. Two free throws from Brown put Boston back by two, but Robert Covington got his first points of the night with a 3-pointer from the corner with 32 seconds remaining.

ADVICE

Trail Blazers: Nurkic had a double-double for the fourth straight game. … Portland led 30-25 late in the first quarter after going 10-for-13 from the floor. It was the eighth time in 10 games that Portland had passed their opponent in the first period, but the shooting went cold in the second quarter as the Blazers went just 7 of 23.

Celtics: Brown’s 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer put the Celtics up 58-54 after Boston beat Portland 33-24 in the second quarter. … Williams received a technical with 7:36 left in the third quarter after being called for an offensive foul. … G Marcus Smart stayed out for the sixth game in a row as he repackages from his time on the COVID-19 health and safety protocol list. … G Aaron Nesmith (sprained right ankle) missed his second straight game.

FOLLOWING

Trail Blazers: Visit the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

Celtics: Visit the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

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More AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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