Monday, February 24, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Jazz 110, Celtics 98
By Chris Forsberg
Rapid reaction after the Utah Jazz defeated the Boston Celtics 110-98 on Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City:
THE NITTY GRITTY
The Jazz entered with the 23rd-ranked field goal percentage in the league, but blistered the floor on 55 percent shooting (44-of-80) as Boston wrapped up a winless trek out West. Of the nine Utah players who got playing time, six hit double figures, including Alec Burks, who came off the bench to score a team-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting in 30 minutes. Derrick Favors added 20 points, while Marvin Williams added 19 points and seven rebounds. Jeff Green and Kelly Olynyk each had a team-high 21 points to pace Boston, while Rajon Rondo finished with 18 points, 10 assists and 3 rebounds (but 5 turnovers) in 33 minutes.
The Jazz closed out the first quarter on a 10-2 burst and the game was never really close again. Richard Jefferson hit a 3-pointer to start the run and Enes Kanter added a pair of layups, and Utah led 27-18 after one quarter. Boston never got closer than six the rest of the way, and the Jazz pushed their lead as high as 18 in the final frame.
The Celtics shot 44 percent (37-of-84), including 26.7 percent (4-of-15) beyond the 3-point arc. ... Celtics big man Jared Sullinger missed his second consecutive game with a concussion. ... All 10 players available for Boston played, including a 2½ minute cameo from Joel Anthony. ... Olynyk (plus-5) and Phil Pressey (plus-6) were the only players in the positive in plus/minus for Boston.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (19-39) finished this post-All-Star break road trip 0-4 and have lost five straight overall. What's more, the team is 0-13 on the road against Western Conference opponents this season (only trips to Dallas and New Orleans remain to break up the shutout). Boston maintains the fourth-worst record in basketball, and three of the team's most recent losses are against the foes directly on top of them in the standings (Jazz, Kings, Lakers). Boston returns home to open a five-game homestand on Wednesday night, hosting the Atlanta Hawks. The Celtics play seven of their next eight games at home, but five are against teams currently bound for the playoffs.