Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics at Jazz
Celtics 97, Jazz 110
After snatching two impressive road wins on the road to start a three-game road trip, the Boston Celtics stormed into Salt Lake City and controlled the entire first half of play against the Jazz. That doesn't happen often in EnergySolutions Arena, where the Jazz had won 16 of their last 18 home games.
But then the second half happened, a half that saw a disheartening (if you're a C's fan) role reversal that resulted in a 2-1 road trip for Boston, rather than an impressive three-game sweep.
The Celtics held a 54-49 lead at halftime as a result of impressive defense, rebounding and overall hustle -- most notably from Glen Davis. When the buzzer began for the second half, though, it was the Jazz who played that role.
Here's what the first 1:27 of the third period sounded like for Boston: Kevin Garnett commits a shooting foul, Paul Pierce misses a 16-foot jumper, Pierce misses a layup, Rajon Rondo commits a turnover on a bad pass.
Contrast that to Utah's first 1:34 of the third period, which sounded like this: C.J. Miles makes two free throws, Carlos Boozer grabs a defensive rebound, Boozer makes a layup, Boozer grabs a defensive rebound, Mehmet Okur hits a 3-pointer, Deron Williams makes a jumper.
When those two paragraphs above are added together, it results in a 9-0 run by the Jazz to start the second half in only 1:34 of playing time. That meant a five-point halftime lead turned into a four-point deficit in the snap of a finger for the Celtics.
Utah continued to build the lead from there, and it eventually reached its peak of 16 in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. With that, the Celtics were sent home with a bad taste in their mouths after an impressive start to their final extended road trip of the season.
Key Box Score Line
The one Celtic who has shown the greatest amount of hustle all season long has been Glen Davis, and he had that type of play on full display tonight, specifically in the first half. Davis finished the game with 13 points and five rebounds in only 19 minutes of play. Nine of those points came in a span of 3:30 of the first quarter, a time period in which he showed continual energy at both sides of the court. That spurt helped the Celtics build a lead going into the second quarter, but he and his teammates couldn't replicate that type of hustle and energy for the remainder of the game, allowing the Jazz to pull out another win at home.
Box Score Nuggets
- Not a single Celtic scored more than 15 points. Ray Allen's 15 led the team.
- Boston recorded only 15 assists compared to 18 turnovers.
- Mehmet Okur grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds, while Kendrick Perkins' eight led the C's.
- Boston shot only 6-of-19 from 3-point range while Utah shot only 7-of-21.
- Each team recorded nine steals.
- C.J. Miles scored a game-high 23 points, followed closely by Deron Williams' 22.
- Utah's bench attempted only two of the team's 21 shots from downtown.
- Every Jazz starter had a plus/minus rating of at least plus-14.
- The Celtics were outscored 50-36 in the paint.
- Utah shot 51.4 percent from the field in the game.
- The Celtics reserves scored 48 points, led by Glen Davis' 13. All seven bench players scored at least two points
- Rajon Rondo's six assists led the Celtics. No other Celtic recorded more than two.
- Boston recorded 11 offensive rebounds compared to Utah's eight.
Quote of the Night
Kevin Garnett on Utah's start to the second half: "They started the third quarter pretty electric. You pretty much have to anticipate it. As many times as I have played here they have always been able to come back out."