NBA

Portland blazes a trail on the road to make NBA history

CJ McCollum scored 33 points and Damian Lillard contributed 26 as the Trail Blazers defeated the Celtics in Boston.

Portland blazes a trail on the road to make NBA history

The Portland Trail Blazers made NBA history as they overcame the Boston Celtics on Sunday to post a fourth successive win on the road. CJ McCollum scored 33 points and Damian Lillard contributed 26 – as well as 13 assists – as Portland prevailed 129-119 in Boston, meaning they have a 20-12 away record in the regular season.

However, Terry Stotts' team have had less success at home – they are surprisingly 16-16 at the Moda Center – but became the first NBA team to follow up four straight losses on their own court with a four-run win on their travels, per Stats Perform. The impressive streak has seen them rise up to sixth in the Western Conference, putting them on course to qualify for the postseason without needing to go through the play-in tournament.

"When we were losing games, we were losing close games. It's a make-or-miss league," McCollum told the media after starring against the Celtics. "We understand how many games are left, what needs to be accomplished and how we can accomplish it. It starts on both ends. There's a better sense of urgency, I think. We know what needs to be done and have got a lot of guys who have played in big games, have played in the playoffs. You want to be playing your best basketball heading there – and be as healthy as possible. Both of those things are ringing true for us."

McCollum made four of his eight attempts from deep, while the Trail Blazers shot 50 per cent as a team from three-point range in Boston. Jayson Tatum had 33 points in a losing cause for the Celtics, who pulled within two points at one stage late in the fourth quarter.

Portland are back in action on Monday, this time in Atlanta as they take on the Hawks in what will be the penultimate outing in a six-game road trip.