Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Boston Celtics shut out highway journey with snug win over Utah Jazz, 123-107

Although they confronted a quick spot of bother in early March with losses in opposition to Cleveland and Denver, the Boston Celtics are returning house as winners. Following consecutive wins in opposition to Phoenix and Portland, they rounded out their West Coast highway journey with a 123-107 win over the Utah Jazz. They’ll take the court docket in opposition to Phoenix once more on Thursday having fun with a three-game win streak.

Absent the companies of Jaylen Brown (sacroiliac pressure), Kristaps Porzingis (hamstring) and Al Horford (toe), the Celtics discovered themselves extra shorthanded than they’ve in latest weeks. Sam Hauser, recent off a 22-point efficiency in opposition to Portland, and Luke Kornet assumed the vacated spots within the beginning lineup, with Xavier Tillman and Oshae Brissett choosing up a few of the slack off the bench.

Kornet (12-9-6, 28 minutes) and Tillman (7-8-1-1, 27 minutes) acquitted themselves fairly effectively, however for the Celtics, the evening belonged to Jayson Tatum and Derrick White. The previous led the staff in scoring, a kind of nights the place he makes scoring 30 within the NBA look simple — he completed with 38. The latter recorded maybe his finest capturing evening since becoming a member of the Celtics, connecting on 7-of-11 three-point pictures, whereas including a customary three steals and one block. For the Jazz, Keyonte George scored 26, whereas Jordan Clarkson and Collin Sexton added 21 and 20, respectively.

The intriguing rookie George drove the motion early within the first quarter, connecting 5 buckets — three of which got here from behind the three-point arc — dishing an help, and swatting a Payton Pritchard layup to kick-start an lively opening quarter for the Jazz. It took 9 minutes for the younger guard to overlook his first shot of the sport. Serving to the Jazz alongside was a foul-happy Boston protection that put itself within the bonus on the halfway level of the primary quarter.

As most groups have found, although, their finest wasn’t a match for what the Boston offense can placed on the desk at any given second. The Celtics piled up 44 factors within the first, — 15 from Tatum — and linked on 9 three-pointers as a staff, outscoring the Jazz regardless of Utah capturing 57% from the sphere. Boston entered the second quarter main 44-33, their highest scoring first quarter of the season.

All season lengthy, the Celtics have appeared to unlock new wrinkles to their sport when lacking key contributors. Tonight, the offense operated round excessive ball motion. They piled up 18 assists collectively within the first half, with each participant to the touch the court docket apart from Tillman contributing at the very least one, pinging the ball out to open shooters and dicing aside the Utah protection. Puppeteering all of it was Vacation, who dished eight first half dimes.

Regardless of the early Boston onslaught, although, the Jazz held powerful within the second. They ripped off a 15-2 run within the early minutes of the quarter to quickly pull again inside a pair possessions of the lead. Undeterred, the relentless Celtics offense discovered its due finally; they responded with a 15-3 run of their very own, behind the slick passing of Vacation. They outscored the Jazz for the quarter, and hit the halftime break having fun with a 72-57 lead.

One emergent think about tonight’s motion was White, who eclipsed the 20-point mark offensively for the primary time since February twenty second. White totaled 24 factors on the evening, thriving throughout the Celtics’ drive-and-kick assault by raining catch-and-shoot threes on the Utah protection. His seven made three-pointers tied his most in a sport this season.

The Celtics wanted each one in every of them. Abrupt bursts of scoring continued to dominate the proceedings into the second half, and subsequent up was Utah, who as soon as once more managed to rally again inside a single-digit margin of Boston’s lead. They put the Celtics on their heels behind a 12-2 run that spanned the halfway part of the quarter, pulling inside 4 factors. Tatum appeared to lastly reduce the run off with a troublesome and-one layup, however Utah heart Micah Potter responded with a nook three-pointer. A late 5-0 Boston run created a little bit of respiration room, however this was a unique sport getting into the fourth quarter, with the Celtics main 98-91.

The Celtics’ reserve bigs inched the lead again into double digits, as Kornet linked on a pair of free throws and Tillman hit a midrange jumper. White continued his electrical evening by cashing in on his seventh three-pointer of the night, extending a 8-0 Boston run and forcing a timeout from Jazz coach Will Hardy.

Issues didn’t enhance for the Jazz when play resumed. The Celtics tacked on a two-pointer from Hauser and a pair of threes from Vacation, and Utah continued to battle to seek out the underside of the web. The Jazz went scoreless by means of the primary 6.5 minutes of the quarter, and after they lastly broke the drought, the Celtics led by 20. From there, the conclusion of the sport was perfunctory.

Subsequent up, the Celtics return house to face off with the Phoenix Suns for the second time in per week, this Thursday at 7:30 PM EST on TNT.

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