PORTLAND — Isaiah Thomas scored 34 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics rebounded from a loss the previous night to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 120-111 on Thursday.
Marcus Smart added 18 for the Celtics, who had seven scorers in double figures. Thomas, who went into the game as the NBA’s No. 2 scorer behind Russell Westbrook, has scored 20 or more points in 37 straight games. He surpassed the 10.6 points he was averaging in fourth quarters to lead the league.
Damian Lillard had 28 points and seven assists for the Blazers, while Al-Farouq Aminu added 26 points.
The Celtics were playing the second of a back-to-back after losing the opening game of their four-game road trip, 108-92 in Sacramento. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak.
Thomas’ driving layup gave Boston a 106-102 lead with just under 3 minutes left. Lillard made free throws and it looked like Portland got a break with a stop, but Aminu turned over the ball on the other end and Jaylen Brown made free throws to push Boston’s lead to 108-104. Smart added a layup and Portland couldn’t catch up.
Portland was coming off a 114-113 victory at Dallas on Tuesday night. CJ McCollum won it on a runner with 0.9 seconds left.
But the victory was costly for the Blazers. Guard Evan Turner fractured a bone in his right hand during the third quarter and will be out for the next five to six weeks. He said Thursday that when it happened, he wasn’t sure it was broken, it just felt numb.
Turner is averaging 9.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 50 games, including 10 starts. He had just been promoted to the starting lineup when he was injured.
“That was definitely tough — on top of the position we’re in. We need all the bodies we have. So it’s definitely frustrating,” he said. “I guess one perk is it’s just a bone. It wasn’t anything worse. And then, on top of that, the All-Star break is going to take a week. So hopefully I don’t miss too much.”
The Celtics were without Jae Crowder because of a family issue. Smart started in his place.
Pat Connaughton hit a 3-pointer to put Portland up 27-17 in the opening quarter. The Blazers stretched the lead by as many as 15 points in the first half.
Boston closed to 55-49 at the break after a 15-4 run. Thomas, who had just one basket in the opening quarter, had 14 points in the second to lead all scorers at the half. Lillard had 15 for the Blazers.
Thomas was the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week for last week, when he averaged an averaged an NBA-best 37.8 points.