There was the Key Moment of Boston’s 110-107 overtime victory over the Jazz Monday night, and then there was the Key Moment. We’ll take you through both.
The Key Moment of Sunday’s actual action was when Kevin Garnett committed a heady foul on Paul Millsap with 4.2 seconds left in overtime. The Celtics led by three points at that stage of the game. The one thing they absolutely could not do was allow Utah to take a 3-pointer, but the Jazz moved the ball well and found Millsap open in the corner and behind the arc.
Millsap was only open for a brief moment because Garnett and his ridiculous wingspan flew out to the corner as fast as he possibly could. His close-out on Millsap prevented a 3-point attempt, leading the Jazz’s athletic forward to put the ball on the floor. Garnett then recognized an opportunity to intentionally foul Millsap and send him to the foul line. That decision meant that the C’s would get the ball back with at least a one-point lead in the waning seconds of overtime.
Garnett’s decision to foul Millsap and send him to the line was the most critical play of Monday’s game, but the Key Moment was when Paul Pierce became en fuego. Just in the nick of time.
Pierce had logged only 13 points heading into the fourth quarter but that was when his work was just beginning. He wound up scoring six in the fourth quarter, including Boston’s final two points of regulation that helped the C’s take this one to overtime.
In overtime, Pierce was purely unstoppable. He went on a 7-0 run all by himself in a span of just 75 seconds to put the Celtics on top 106-101 with 1:12 remaining in the extra session. He then assisted on Boston’s next basket, a jumper from Garnett, to put his team in prime position for the win in the final minute.
Garnett’s play arrived in that final minute and it made sure that Boston won the game. Let’s all be sure to remember that KG probably wouldn’t have been in position to make that play if Pierce hadn’t led the C’s to that point.
Key Box Score Line
Well you already know that Paul Pierce put together a masterful performance in the fourth quarter and overtime of Monday’s game. Now it’s time to give you his all around numbers.
Pierce did it all Monday night – yet again – by contributing major numbers in all three of the top statistical categories. He tied for the game high in scoring with 26 points, grabbed seven rebounds and also dished out a game-high eight assists. This was the second consecutive game in which Pierce led the Celtics in scoring and led the contest in assists.
Boston’s captain accounted for the game’s top plus/minus rating at plus-10. He shot 10-of-20 from the field, including a 7-of-10 mark from inside the 3-point arc.
Box Score Nuggets
- Paul Pierce hit half of his 20 shot attempts en route to 26 points, which tied Gordon Hayward for the game high.
- Pierce also contributed a game-high eight assists.
- The Celtics were outrebounded 44-37.
- Six Celtics scored in double-figures.
- Jason Terry scored 14 points off of the bench for Boston.
- Both teams' largest lead was eight points.
- Utah scored 44 points in the paint, compared to just 28 for Boston.
- There were 17 ties and 13 lead changes in the game.
- Chris Wilcox and Brandon Bass each blocked two shots.
- Avery Bradley scored a season-high 18 points.
- Al Jefferson grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
- Boston attempted 27 3-pointers, including 10 by Pierce.
- The C's shot 18-of-20 from the free-throw line.
- Kevin Garnett logged a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
- Utah shot better from 3-point range (47.1 percent) than 2-point range (43.7 percent).
Quote of the Night
When we looked at the trip, we knew this was going to be the hardest game of the whole trip... Going into Utah, five games in seven nights. At that point, when you get to this last game, it's all mental. Paul Pierce on how difficult Monday's game was for the C's