The Utah Jazz were dominating the Boston Celtics for the first five minutes of Wednesday night’s meeting at TD Garden.
Then the script flipped.
Boston obliterated Utah for nearly the duration of the game en route to an impressive 97-87 victory. The Celtics outscored the Jazz 60-22 over the next 23 minutes to pull ahead by as many as 25 points.
Brad Stevens had to love the team play he observed from the sideline over the first three quarters. The Celtics dished out 19 assists on 34 made baskets over the first 36 minutes. Five players totaled at least three dimes during that timespan. As a result of that unselfish style of basketball, Boston shot 49.3 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from 3-point range during the first three quarters.
There was certainly a blip in the fourth quarter, there’s no denying that. Utah made the standard NBA run and cut Boston’s once-25-point lead all the way down to six with 4:28 remaining in the game. However, the Celtics responded to that run in the fashion coaches always love – with a strong knockout punch.
The C’s answered with the next four points of the game off of a Brandon Bass jumper and a pretty hook shot in the paint by Jared Sullinger. Those points put Boston back on top by 10 points with 3:15 remaining and Utah never cut that lead to less than eight from that point on.
Friday’s victory was the Celtics’ first of the regular season, and it’s sure to leave them smiling as they head to Florida to take on the Magic and Heat this weekend. This was a dominating performance for nearly the entirety of the game.
Key Box Score Line
Kelly Olynyk put together another great performance off of the bench Wednesday night against Utah. It was his second such performance in three games as he continues to make a name for himself in the NBA.
Boston’s 7-foot rookie poured in 14 points in just 29 minutes of action. He was solid from the field, making half of his 12 shots from inside the 3-point line, and also shot 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.
One of the biggest reasons why Olynyk was so successful during this contest was his physicality and aggression. He faced off against the league’s top offensive rebounder, Enes Kanter, and gave Utah’s big man a dose of his own medicine. Half of Olynyk’s eight rebounds were grabbed at the offensive end, leading to four second-chance points. The big man also pitched in three assists and a steal while finishing with a plus-10 in the plus/minus category.
Box Score Nuggets
- The Celtics committed just 15 turnovers.
- Gerald Wallace, who came off the bench, led the Celtics in rebounding with nine boards in 23 minutes.
- None of Boston's players attempted more than four free throws.
- Derrick Favors logged the game's only double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
- Brandon Bass recorded team highs of 20 points and two blocks.
- Gordon Hayward scored a game-high 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting.
- Each team led by as many as 13 points.
- Jeff Green led the Celtics with four assists and also scored 18 points.
- The game was never tied, other than at 0-0.
- Utah shot just 1-of-10 from 3-point range.
- Boston's bench totaled 24 of the team's 42 rebounds.
- Both teams grabbed 42 boards.
- Four of Boston's players attempted between 11 and 15 shots.
Quote of the Night
Wyc (Grousbeck) was nice enough to grab the ball for me, so that was nice. I’m going to celebrate for a whole 12 minutes and then I’m going to start watching Orlando and trying to figure them out. Brad Stevens on his first NBA victoryMore quotes >>