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Ray Allen missed almost every shot (3-for-14), but hit the one that mattered—a three-pointer with 42 seconds left in OT—as the Celtics squeaked out a 98-95 overtime win over the banged up Portland Trail Blazers at the TD Garden on Friday night.
The Celtics felt the return of Kevin Garnett, especially on the defensive end, and it showed as they held the Blazers to 38.2 percent shooting from the floor. Garnett, who had missed the previous 10 games, played 30 minutes, despite some foul troubles early in the game, and finished with 13 points (4-for-9) and four rebounds.
Paul Pierce led the team with 24 points (9-for-13) before fouling out with 1.1 seconds left in regulation after being called for a charge while driving to the basket. Rajon Rondo added 19 points (9-for-14) while dishing out nine assists and Kendrick Perkins collected 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.
The Blazers were led by Andre Miller who scored a game-high 28 points (11-for-23) with eight rebounds and eight assists, while picking up the slack for injured Brandon Roy and Jerryd Bayless, who left the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter.
The Celtics built an 11-point lead in the second quarter, but the Blazers quickly responded with a 17-8 run in the next 6:38 and went into the half down 55-50.
In the second half, Portland came back to take a one point lead at 77-76 with 8:19 remaining in regulation, but the Celtics took the lead back in just 16 seconds when Pierce made a layup on the other end. Martell Webster hit a three-pointer with 1:45 remaining to bring the Blazers within two points and then hit another jumper to tie the game 91-91 with 34 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Webster finished the game with 19 points on 5-for-19 shooting and LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 points (7-for-18) and 10 rebounds.
Both teams struggled offensively in the overtime period, but Ray Allen bailed them out with a clutch three-pointer and then made a nice lead pass to Tony Allen off of a rebound to give the Celtics a three point lead that proved to be the difference.
The Celtics improve to 28-13 on the season and will face the Los Angeles Clippers at home on Monday. The Blazers fall to 26-18.