Portland Trail Blazers at Boston Celtics: Game preview, time, TV channel, how to watch free live ...

The Portland Trail Blazers are 3-0 on their current road trip but have truly only put together one quality win, Wednesday at Memphis.

No offense to Indiana and Brooklyn, the two other teams the Blazers took down, but both were without major stars (Kevin Durant and James Harden did not play for the Nets). So, it’s difficult to truly gauge what those victories truly meant in terms of measuring Portland’s overall improvement.

Sunday at Boston, the Blazers will have a chance to pick up a win against a very good, but disappointing Celtics team.

Boston (34-30), which won 116-115 at Portland on April 13, has not built upon its appearance in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics have played better lately, winning nine of 13 games, but sit tied with Miami (34-30) for sixth in the Eastern Conference. Needless to say, Boston will be extremely motivated on Sunday and sporting the 12th-rated offense in the NBA (114.7).

The combination of forward Jayson Tatum, who scored 60 points Friday during an overtime win over San Antonio, and guard Jaylen Brown will be a matchup issue for the Blazers. Both All-Stars present a combination of length and athleticism that usually gives Portland’s three-guard lineup problems.

Propelling Portland’s current winning streak, which came after having lost five consecutive games, has been the defense. The Blazers ranked seventh in defensive rating (106.1) over the past three games. Portland’s defense ranks 29th on the season (116.1). A big reason for the recent improvement has been the play of center Jusuf Nurkic.

“He’s our biggest guy, he’s a capable shot blocker, light on his feet, he moves really well,” Damian Lillard said. “So, he makes us that much more versatile in our coverages with some of the things that we can do. His rebounding, his rim protection, his activity with his hands, he just makes us better defensively. When he is right, we’re at our best.”

Said coach Terry Stotts of Nurkic: “He’s locked into our pick-and-roll coverages. He communicates well. Just everything you want from a defensive center.”

The Blazers have been waiting for this version of Nurkic to arrive all season. If he continues playing at this level, the Blazers will have a chance to put together a strong finish to the regular season.

TRAIL BLAZERS AT BOSTON CELTICS

What: Trail Blazers (35-28) at Celtics (34-30), 4:30 p.m., Sunday.

Where: TD Garden, Boston.

TV channel: NBC Sports Northwest (in Portland: Comcast 37/737).

Radio: Rip City Radio (KPOJ 620 AM)

How to watch live stream online: You can watch this game live with your cable provider login, or you can watch the game live for FREE with FuboTV(free trial). If you already have a cable package, you can watch the game live on NBC Sports NW with your cable provider login information.

ODDS

Spread: Celtics by 2 | Total: 233

Moneyline: Blazers (+108) | Celtics (-126)

INJURIES

Blazers: F/C Zach Collins (left ankle, stress fracture) is out

Celtics: G Kemba Walker (left oblique; strain) is doubtful.

NEXT UP (Blazers schedule)

The Blazers play the second of a back-to-back at 5 p.m., Monday in Atlanta (35-30).

-- Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).

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