|Fast Break: Jazz run by Celtics||03.22.10 at 11:36 pm ET|
For 22 minutes the Celtics played an almost perfect road game. They rebounded better than Utah, got superior play from their bench and got to the free throw line at a steady clip. All that afforded the C’s a double-digit lead, but Utah was able to slice it back to five by halftime and the Jazz then opened the second half with a 16-4 run in a 110-97 victory, Monday night.
The loss snaps the Celtics four-game winning streak and ends their three-game road trip with a 2-1 record. The Celtics got some momentum back with Friday and Saturday night wins over Houston and Dallas, but the Jazz proved too tough. The C’s return home to the Garden to play six straight games at home against some of the best teams in the Western Conference.
Monday night’s game wasn’t pretty. The two teams have combined for 64 free throws, 51 fouls, and 36 turnovers. In that way it was typical of the last game on a short, but grueling trip.
Player of the Game: Deron Williams was great for Utah with 22 points and 11 assists and Mehmet Okur recorded a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds, but C.J. Miles was the biggest reason for Utah’s win. Not even a starter for most of the season and playing big minutes for Andrei Kirilenko, who missed the game with a calf strain, Miles scored 23 points and was 8-for-16 from the floor before fouling out.
Turning Point: In hindsight, one could feel the momentum shift late in the first half, but the Jazz took control of the game in the third quarter by scoring 11 of the first 13 points. Okur , who has missed time with the flu, made three 3-pointers tin the third that helped give Utah a 73-63 lead.
* The Celtics bench outscored Utah’s 26-11 in the first half and continued to play well in the second. Glen Davis scored 13 points (all in the first half) and Michael Finley and Marquis Daniels picked up the second half
* Foul trouble affected both teams all game. Kendrick Perkins and Carlos Boozer each got two in the first quarter. Boozer and Paul Millsap each have three fouls for the Jazz, while Rajon Rondo got his third right before the end of the half and his fourth a few minutes into the third quarter.
Rondo stayed in the game and tallied his 2,000th career assist with a sweet behind-the-back move that resulted in a dish for a Ray Allen 3-pointer
* With Millsap and Boozer out, the Celtics enjoyed a 21-11 edge on the boards in the first half. Utah had just one offensive rebound and the Celtics have six. But that changed completely over the final 24 minutes.
* Doc Rivers got ejected in the final minutes by ref Ed Malloy. It was the second ejection of the season for Rivers.