Good, bad, & ugly: C's hang around - and lose again

Good, bad, & ugly: C's hang around - and lose again
January 12, 2014, 12:30 am
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Another good performance, another close loss.

This is becoming the silver lining of choice for the Boston Celtics who once again did a lot of good things, but not enough to win.

Boston faltered down the stretch, resulting in a 112-104 loss to Portland that extended the Celtics' season-long losing streak to eight in a row.

The blueprint for this defeat looked very familiar to recent losses.

Boston would play well for a stretch, but not well enough to pull away for a comfortable lead.

The opposing team would rally and take the lead. Boston would rally back and seemingly be one big shot or defensive stop from fully swinging the game's momentum in their favor.

And then comes bad shot selection or a turnover or an inability to get a coveted 50/50 ball.

And there you have all the ingredients for yet another "good try, good effort" performance that for Boston, once again ended with a loss.

Boston now returns home for three games this week, looking to accomplish what seems so far off and yet near at the same time - a victory.

And with that, here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from yet another Celtics loss.

The Good

Avery Bradley

Bradley had a solid game defensively, but was even more impressive with his shooting touch. He finished with 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field which included 13 in the first quarter. Unfortunately Bradley's strong game wasn't enough.

The Bad

Second-chance points

Portland's rebounding kept them in the game in the first half as they got 17 second-chance points while the Celtics could muster up just two.

The second half was more of the same and ultimately ended with the Blazers walking away with a commanding 31-14 advantage in second-chance points.

When you throw in how dominant Portland was in their 3-point shooting, it added up to a game that the Celtics simply didn't play well enough to give themselves a legit shot at winning.

The Ugly

Perimeter defense

You expect Portland to make a lot of 3s. After all, they did come into Saturday's game making more threes per game (10.3) than any team in the NBA. But far too many of the 3s they made on Saturday were open or lightly contested three-pointers. For the game, the Blazers kept with their season average by shooting 10-for-21 from 3-point range. The Celtics came in as the NBA's third-best 3-point shooting defense. But during their current losing streak that now stands at eight in a row, 3-point defense has been among the many areas in which there has been noticeable slippage.