NBA wrap: Celtics start strong; Trail Blazers hold off Thunder

‘The series don’t start till you win on the road’ – Lillard on Blazers 2-0 lead against Oklahoma

The Celtics topped the Pacers 84-74 in Boston and kicked off their first-round playoff series strong.

Sunday’s first NBA game certainly wasn’t a barn burner.

The Celtics topped the Pacers 84-74 in Boston and kicked off their first-round playoff series strong.

A surprising 20-point performance from Markieff Morris assisted Kyrie Irving’s 20-point effort in the Celtics’ win. The pair tied for a game high in scoring.

Cory Joseph, who averaged 6.5 points per game during the regular season, led a cold Indiana squad with 14 points.

Neither side shot better than 37 percent from the field in the contest.

In Portland, the Thunder were widely seen as a scary matchup for any team entering the postseason, but they’re down 0-1 to the Trail Blazers.

Damian Lillard led all scorers with 30 points, but C. J. McCollum (24 points) and Enes Kanter (20) also had big games in the 104-99 win.

Russell Westbrook posted 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but Oklahoma City couldn’t overcome terrible 3-point shooting, as it made just five of 33 attempts.

Stud of the Night

CJ McCollum scored 24 points for Portland, only trailing Lillard on his team.

Duds of the Night

Myles Turner scored five points on 2-of-6 shooting for the Pacers.

Paul George scored 26 points, but was 4-of-15 from deep and had a horredous first half.

Highlights

Lillard showcased why he’s one of the NBA’s best clutch scorers with a deep three down the stretch.

Terry Rozier edged the third quarter horn with a buzzer beater pull up jumper in TD Garden.

What’s Next?

Nets at 76ers, Monday, 8 p.m. ET — Everyone will be watching to see if Philadelphia can bounce back from a Game 1 upset. Brooklyn’s team has little playoff experience, but put on an inspiring performance to take down the third-seeded 76ers on Saturday. This game will be critical for Philadelphia, as it could have to head to the Nets’ house down two games if it can’t respond.

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