Kyrie Irving has missed the last two games with a quad contusion, but the Celtics (38-15) have not missed him thanks to the efforts of Terry Rozier. The third-year guard followed up his first career triple-double with a career-high 31 points Friday night in a 119-110 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Rozier has been superb in his first two starts as a pro, totaling 48 points, 18 rebounds and 12 assists while shooting nine of 14 from 3-point range. Boston have also outscored opponents by a staggering 63 points in the 68 minutes he has played in those wins.
Irving, who averages 24.9 points and 5.0 assists, is listed as day-to-day, but with fellow guards Marcus Smart and Shane Larkin also sidelined, the Celtics are extremely thin at a position where the Trail Blazers have their biggest strength offensively.
Portland (29-23), though, are coming off their worst loss of the season as they were manhandled 130-105 by Toronto on Friday night to kick off a three-game road swing. Damian Lillard, C. J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic combined for 73 points, but their teammates accounted for just 32 on nine-of-28 shooting as the Trail Blazers allowed a season-high 19 3-pointers and had a four-game winning streak snapped.
McCollum remained hot after his career-high 50-point effort against Chicago on Wednesday night, hitting nine of 16 shots, and has averaged 27.0 points on 57.0 percent shooting over his last five games.