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The Celtics (29-27) hung with the Trail Blazers (26-30) in Portland for the majority of the night but ran out of gas in the fourth quarter and suffered a 92-86 loss at the Rose Garden Sunday night.

Each Blazers starter finished in double-figures with Wesley Matthews leading the way with 24 points. Paul Pierce (23) and Kevin Garnett (20) once again led the C's in scoring.

What they'll be saying: The Celtics are having a rough go of it out West as they were dealt their third loss in the four games since last weekend's All-Star break. Optimists will say that this is traditionally one of the tougher annual periods in the Celtics' season. Last year in late February, the C's lost four straight games on the road. In their title season of 2008, Boston endured its worst stretch of the year in late February - losing three straight games at Denver, at Golden State and at Phoenix.

 

The negative slant will talk about the C's relying far too much on Pierce and Garnett, particularly at the offensive end, as both 30-somethings look exhausted at times.

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