Celtics guard Dennis Schröder, right, gets past Trail Blazers guard Ben McLemore during Boston’s 145-117 win on Saturday in Portland, Oregon. Steve Dipaola/Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — It wasn’t his most notable scoring outburst, but Dennis Schröder put together arguably his best game as a Celtic on Saturday.

There were the typical bursts of speed and shotmaking from the guard, who filled in for the injured Jaylen Brown in the starting lineup. He had eight assists and even chipped four rebounds.

But there was another important stat: One turnover. So, yes, those 31 points were great, but so were the other supporting details.

It was the second-straight game the Celtics were sparkling on offense. They poured it on against the Trail Blazers in a 145-117 win Saturday at the Moda Center. It was a great recovery after a hard-fought loss against the Jazz a night earlier.

“We play fast, move the ball,” Schröder said. “I think when we do that, we’re going to be in great shape. I think that’s what we have to focus on. Not too much iso and somebody switched on me, wait for the iso.”

Life was also easy for Schröder, who hit 5 of 7 3-pointers. He’s not known for his outside shot, but when he’s on, that makes his speed that much deadlier. Defenders have gone under screens to try to coax him into shooting, but he said he’s been comfortable hitting that shot throughout his career.


That’s a pick-your-poison scenario that makes life difficult for the opposition. Schröder has proven his playmaking skills, and if he gets to the paint, his lightning speed also gives him an advantage.

“He’s a guy that can get to the basket pretty much on anybody, teams are going under on him, so he made five 3s tonight,” Celtics Coach Ime Udoka said of Schröder. “We constantly stressed to everybody: Isolation is not always for yourself, it’s for your teammate as well – especially if you can penetrate and create and so he did that tonight.”

Schröder’s scoring opens up other elements of the offense and should make life easier for Jayson Tatum and, when he returns, Brown.

Saturday was just another testament to the value Schröder brings to the Celtics. He’s good enough to be a starter, but the Celtics have the luxury to bring him off the bench when they’re fully healthy. He can also slide in and contribute when he is in the starting lineup.

That’s a bargain at a $5.9 million salary. And the Celtics continue to reap the benefits.

“When I know people are going under, I can set my feet whenever I feel like it, that I want to shoot it, I can shoot it,” Schröder said. “I just try to be aggressive, even if they go under, I can attack it sometimes, good angles, and I think we did a great job tonight.”


WHEN THE CELTICS starting lineup came out onto the floor Saturday, there was a peculiar commonality: Everyone was wearing a headband. Some players like Schröder and Richardson had worn a headband before, but it was a new look for those like Tatum.

Udoka said he didn’t know why his team came out like that and joked he didn’t care – especially since they got the bounce-back victory.

Tatum said it was his idea, just something that popped into his mind. It wasn’t anything serious, he said, more just leaning into camaraderie. And it helps the Celtics are now 1-0 when every player dons a headband.

“It was an idea I threw out before the game, do something as a team,” Tatum said. “It don’t got to be permanent or anything, but the season can be long and tough. Just do some things to have fun and kind of bring us together.”

AS THE CELTICS sprinted out to a commanding lead in the second half, it was the end to a near-perfect night for the team. The starters got some run to make sure the Blazers didn’t get too close, but Udoka pulled them out midway through the fourth quarter.

That meant guys like Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith, Jabari Parker, Bruno Fernando and other bench players got valuable live-game reps. That’s been missing for the Celtics when they blew fourth-quarter leads this season. So Udoka said it was a nice change-of-pace for the youngsters – and the starters got plenty of rest.

“Those are all opportunities for young guys who need to grow and get real live game action,” Udoka said. “That’s invaluable as much as you workout or practice, or play 5-on-5, it’s nothing like real live game action.”

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