Playing with a wrap on his injured right knee, Jeff Green picked up the slack early on for the suspended Rajon Rondo and finished with 19 points as the Celtics cruised to a 96-78 win over the Trail Blazers Friday night at TD Garden. Jason Terry, who started at point guard for Rondo, chipped in with 17 points in 31 minutes as the Celtics improved to 9-7 on the season, despite committing 20 turnovers. Paul Pierce added 12 points and eight rebounds while Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee each scored 10.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points to lead the Blazers, who committed 22 turnovers.
The Celtics used an 8-1 spurt midway through the first quarter to take a 17-7 lead and assume control for the rest of the game, assuming a 25-18 lead after one. The Celtics held the Blazers to 31 percent shooting in the quarter. Jason Collins entered the game in the first quarter for Kevin Garnett, as Doc Rivers attempted to give Chris Wilcox another night to recover from an illness. But Collins picked up three fouls in five minutes and Wilcox entered the game in the second quarter when Garnett needed another rest.
The Celtics went up 34-18 before the Blazers cut it to 12. But the Celtics scored the next five points and built the lead to 23 at the half, as Pierce drained a three from the right wing. The Celtics held the Blazers to just 2-of-14 shooting in the second quarter while Boston was red hot. The Celtics shot 21 of their 37 shots in shooting 57 percent.
Green led the charge, scoring 14 points in 13 minutes off the bench. His highlight came on a baseline drive and two-handed slam with 10:46 left in the second quarter. He was fouled and made the free throw.
After building a 27-point lead (65-38) with just under nine minutes to go in the third, the Blazers cut the lead down to 16 late in the third quarter thanks to a 10-2 run, as the Celtics took a 75-59 lead into the fourth quarter. With the lead down to 15, Leandro Barbosa and Green connected on consecutive threes to push the lead back to 21, 83-62, with 8:59 left.
Rookie Kris Joseph, recalled from the D-League Maine Red Claws earlier in the day, came into the game with just under five minutes left, replacing Jeff Green.
The Celtics have little time to savor the win as they flew out to Milwaukee immediately after the game for Saturday night's game against the Bucks. Rondo will sit out that game as well before being able to return next Wednesday and a home game against Minnesota at TD Garden. For complete coverage from Mike Petraglia and Ben Rohrbach, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics  and the Green Street  blog.