Jazz End Celtics' Streak at 10
The Utah Jazz got the revenge they had been waiting for in a 110-92 victory over the Celtics last night at TD Banknorth Garden.
Boston (51-13) saw its 10-game winning streak snapped, as well its season-best 11-game streak at home. Utah guard Deron Williams had a game-high 32 points to go with 7 assists and 5 rebounds. The Celtics missed 11 of 14 3-point attempts, didn't have a player score more than 15 points, and lost by a season-high margin.
Kevin Garnett had 15 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds, while Paul Pierce missed 6 of 7 field goal attempts and scored just 8 points. The Jazz tallied 48 points in the paint, oddly scored only 1 fast-break point, and hit 7 of 14 3-pointers.
Before the game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers seemed almost in awe of Utah coach Jerry Sloan being with the Jazz for 20 seasons. Rivers, now in his fourth season with the Celtics, can't see himself being in one place for that long.
"I don't want to draw a 14-, 16-year extension," Rivers said. "I'll pass. It's just too long and it would make me uncomfortable."
The Celtics defeated Utah, 104-98, in Salt Lake City Dec. 19. Since then, the Jazz have won 18 straight home games and had been thinking about payback.
"We're going to have revenge on our minds," forward Carlos Boozer told the Salt Lake Tribune. "Hopefully, we can come back and get that game. They play really well at home, they've been playing well everywhere, really."
The Jazz went up by as many as 12 points and finished the first quarter with a 33-23 lead after shooting 54.5 percent and scoring 18 points in the paint. Celtics guard Rajon Rondo had some heated words for Pierce during a timeout with 7:10 left in the quarter. Rondo was primarily guarding Williams, who had 7 points and two assists in the first.
Celtics guard Ray Allen went to the locker room with a jammed left ankle after slipping near the free throw line in the first quarter. He was evaluated at halftime, and didn't return, finishing with 9 points. Allen missed six games with a sore left ankle from Jan. 27-Feb. 8.
A Kyle Korver 3-pointer gave Utah a 48-34 lead with 6:25 left in the second quarter. A Boozer 3-point play gave the Jazz a 56-42 lead with 2:40 remaining in the half. Utah owned a 62-49 halftime lead and was just 2 points shy of equaling the most points scored against the Celtics in an opening half this season (64 by the Cavaliers Feb. 5).
The Jazz shot 58.3 percent in the first half, nailed four 3-pointers, and scored 28 points in the paint. Garnett missed 6 of 7 field goal attempts and 3 of 4 free throws in the half, while Pierce missed both of his field goal attempts. Williams had 15 points, while Boozer added 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Celtics outscored the Jazz, 8-5, early in the second half, with Tony Allen's windmill trimming the deficit to 67-57. Pierce and Garnett picked up their offense, combining for 15 points in the third to trim the margin to 79-74 by quarter's end.
Boston got within 3 points at 79-76 on a Glen Davis lay-in with 11:33 remaining. But Utah responded with an 8-2 run to go up, 87-78, with 9:11 left. Two James Posey free throws sliced Boston's deficit to 89-85 with 6:58 left. But the Jazz gained a comfortable 98-89 lead with four minutes left on a Boozer jumper.