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Out of gas Celtics beat handily by Jazz 98-86

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Celtics unable to match intensity of Jazz

NBA: Utah Jazz at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After a great Friday night heavyweight fight against the Raptors, the Celtics were instantly thrust into another heavyweight battle with a desperate Utah Jazz team that needed to get back in the win column. The results weren’t pretty, despite both teams coming off a back-to-back, it was the Jazz that looked fresh and locked in while the Celtics played like it was work on Monday morning. Let’s get into what happened.

Both teams initially came out slow missing their first two shots before Boston went out on a 7-2 run highlighted by Kyrie Irving scoring the teams first five points.

The Jazz countered with a 17-7 run of their own led by strong penetration by the Utah that led to a party of uncontested shots at the rim by Rubio, Ingles, and Gobert.

After the Celtics second unit was initially able to weather the storm and close the deficit to 3, they were unable to capitalize on their 7-2 FT edge, missing four from the charity stripe. On the other end, the Jazz were able to end the quarter with back-to-back three’s in transition to boost their lead to 9 at the end of the first.

Th Jazz started off the second with an initial surge pushing their lead up to 12 after a Donovan Mitchell three. The Celtics second units went through a lull offensively where the ball movement was seldom and it culminated into some ugly possessions like Mook fadeaway’s and Aron Baynes hook shots that didn’t have a prayer. Kyrie re-entered the game and the Celtics offense began to play with a little more pace. There was the uncharacteristic FT misses by Irving, (that have now happened in back to back games), but the Celtics were still able to cut the UTH’s 12-point deficit to as close as one point before Utah was able to get a little bit of distance before the half closed to keep it at 5. At this point, I would be remised if I didn’t bring up Donovan Mitchell who looked absolutely fantastic. He had multiple 3’s from 25ft out and really took it to the Celtics perimeter defenders on this way to a 14 point half on a 54.5 FG%. For Boston, Kyrie matched him with 12 points on a 50 FG%.

First Half Stats

2nd Half

The Jazz punched first to start the 3rd pushing the lead up to 15. To compound matters Irving picked up his 4th and 5th foul forcing the Celtics to take him out while their offense was struggling the most. The Jazz relentless pursuit of the rim combined with the Celtics inability to score a basket (17 points in the frame) were a recipe for losing basketball. It’s frustrating to continue to say the same thing, but the Celtics problems came down to shotmaking, not shot creation. In other words, it’s a Make or Miss league and the Celtics did a whole lot of missing. 5/33 from three and 11/20 from the charity stripe as the Celtics did tonight just isn’t going to get it done.

The Celtics will be back on Monday night against Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets.


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