Final: Celtics 105, Jazz 86
Rest assured. The Celtics can beat any team handily with a little time off.
All five Celtics starters scored in double-figures (they were joined by Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels) as the Celtics took advantage of three full days off and dismantled a solid Utah Jazz team, 105-86, tonight at TD Garden. The Celtics improve to 8-1 on the season.
It wasn't as if the Jazz played poorly -- they hovered around 50 percent shooting all game and crashed the glass often enough to finish with the overall rebounding edge, 39-33. But the Celtics were icily efficient, shooting 53 percent from the field and spreading the offense through every player on the floor on one end while forcing 21 turnovers on the other. The fourth quarter was marked more by Gino and that little kid than dances than anything that happened on the floor.
The Celtics are off tomorrow and return home Friday night to take on the always entertaining Atlanta Hawks.
5:37 fourth quarter, Celtics 97-76
Gino time. Looks like there is some totally new Gino footage. But from where?
6:02 fourth quarter, Celtics 97-74
I think they call this garbage time. Lester Hudson in for Ray Allen. Hudson should get plenty of game experience this year and a chance to prove himself later in the season.
7:38 fourth quarter, Celtics 91-70
Marquis Daniels joins the Celtics starters in double-figures with 10 points. He's quietly having a solid game.
9:51 fourth quarter, Celtics 89-66
Eddie House gets on the board with, what else, a three-pointer. It's his first make in five attempts.
END third quarter, Celtics 84-62
Rajon Rondo beats the buzzer with a driving layup, giving him 14 points on the night.
The Celtics have made a laugher out of this one, turning a 10-point halftime lead into a 21-point cushion after three. The starters have done the bulk of the damage, scoring all but 14 of Boston's points.
1:16 third quarter, Celtics 77-59
Kevin Garnett threw down an alley-oop over two defenders, a play that brought the house down here at the Garden. Garnett takes a seat with 18 points (on 7-of-10 shooting) and 4 rebounds.
2:51 third quarter, Celtics 77-56
A couple of stats jump out right away: All five Celtics starters are in double-figures, compared to only Deron Williams for the Jazz. In addition, the Celtics bench has played only a combined 29 minutes. Doc Rivers apparently has ever intention to take advantage of his starters being rested.
4:45 third quarter, Celtics 71-54
Talk about a long draught -- the Jazz haven't made a three-pointer in eight attempts.
8:18 third quarter, Celtics 69-50
Holy ball movement, Batman. Rondo to Allen to Perkins, behind the back to Garnett, to Rondo, for the lay-up. Timeout, Utah.
9:09 third quarter, Celtics 65-50
The Celtics are 6 of 10 from beyond the arc after that last three from Ray Allen.
Halftime: Celtics 54-44
The Celtics haven't played since Saturday and it shows in a good way. They're making every possession difficult for Utah. On the offensive end, it hasn't always been pretty, but the Celtics are having their way in the paint (30 points already). Ray Allen, Kendrick Perkins, and Kevin Garnett are all in double-figures with 10 points.
Deron Williams leads the Jazz with 10 points and 5 assists.
2:51 second quarter, Celtics 48-37
A drive-and-dish from Rajon Rondo to Kendrick Perkins has given the Celtics their largest lead of the game. Perkins is working on a double-double (8 points and 7 rebounds). Rondo has 7 assists.
6:37 second quarter, Celtics 38-31
Someone just pressed the ugly button. Both teams are missing shots left and right. The Celtics are playing stingy defense, forcing Utah in eight turnovers. The Celtics themselves have gone cold and are down to 50 percent shooting.
10:24 second quarter, Celtics 36-27
A couple of three-pointers by Rasheed Wallace have opened this game up a little. The Celtics are still shooting 67 percent.
END first quarter, Celtics 28-23
No matter what kind of defense the Celtics are playing, they're going to do pretty well shooting 61 percent from the floor. The Jazz are shooting 45 percent. Boston needs to stop Deron Williams from getting into the paint.
2:23 first quarter, Celtics 23-21
Spotty internet here at the Garden. About as spotty as the Celtics' interior defense! I kid. No but seriously, this game is going to be won in the paint. The Celtics and Jazz have 12 and 10 points in the paint respectively. The teams are a combined 1 of 4 from three.
5:26 first quarter, Celtics 16-14
The Celtics have missed only one shot in seven chances, but they're clinging to a two-point lead because they can't keep Utah off the glass. The Jazz already have a couple of second-chance baskets.
8:25 first quarter, Celtics 12-6
A couple of mismatches in that last sequence, but both of them went Boston's way. Deron Williams had KG on him but couldn't take advantage, the Jazz wasting the chance with too much passing and a bad shot. On the other side, Ray Allen had Andrei Kirilenko on him and blew past the big man for a layup.
9:59 first quarter, Celtics 6-4
Kevin Garnett is matched up with Mehmet Okur, Kendrick Perkins with Carlos Boozer.
Deron Williams in the starting lineup for Utah. It will be interesting to see if he has any minute restrictions.