Keys to the Game: Celtics 114, Jazz 103

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

Marcus Smart and the Boston Celtics took control of Wednesday’s matchup with the Jazz at the start of the fourth quarter.

The teams entered the final period separated by just three points on the scoreboard, but less than five minutes into the frame Boston had added 10 points to its advantage.

Marcus Smart was at the core of the game-changing run, as he scored nine of Boston’s 15 points and assisted on two more.

From the 9:42 mark to the 7:44 mark of the quarter – less than two minutes, we must point out – Smart canned three 3-pointers on as many attempts to push the Celtics ahead 98-87. All three treys were canned from the left wing.

The first 3-pointer came in transition, after Utah forgot to defend him. The second was released from well beyond the arc after Brad Wanamaker swung the ball to him on the wing. The third came after Grant Williams freed Smart up with a beautiful screen.

Most who watch the Celtics on a regular basis expected Smart to let it fly the next time he touched the ball, no matter where he was on the court when he touched it. Let’s be real: he’s known for his heat checks.

But instead of forcing up a contested 3 from the left corner in transition, Smart rewarded a sprinting Enes Kanter with a wrap-around bounce pass that set Kanter up for an easy layup in the paint.

Kanter’s bucket pushed Boston ahead 100-87 with 7:22 left in the game. The C’s would eventually pull ahead by as many as 15 points before closing out a 114-103 win.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum did it again Wednesday night.

For the third straight game and for the sixth time this month, Tatum broke the 30-point barrier. This time, he dropped a team-best 33 points on the Utah Jazz.

Tatum continued his red-hot shooting this month by connecting on 13 of his 20 field goal attempts. He has now made at least 12 field goals in three straight games.

The attention will be rightfully placed on Tatum’s hot scoring, but what cannot be ignored is that he also tallied his ninth double-double of the season. Tatum recorded a game-high 11 rebounds during the contest, two more than any other player – including Rudy Gobert, who entered the game ranked second in the NBA in rebounding average.

Tatum rounded out his box score with three assists during 38-plus minutes of action. Boston outscored Utah by eight points while he was on the floor.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jayson Tatum scored 33 points, making his third straight game with at least 30 points.
  • Marcus Smart tallied a game-high nine assists while not committing a single turnover.
  • All five of Boston's starters scored at least 12 points.
  • Donovan Mitchell led the game with 37 points.
  • Tatum recorded a double-double by grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with his 33 points.
  • Two Celtics reserves - Brad Wanamaker and Enes Kanter - scored during the game, and both scored eight points.
  • Boston outscored Utah 56-46 in the paint.
  • The C's limited Rudy Gobert, the second-leading rebounder in the NBA, to nine boards - more than five below his season average.
  • Boston shot 53.6 percent from the field, compared to Utah's 44.9 percent.
  • Both teams committed nine or fewer turnovers. The C's committed just eight.
  • Jaylen Brown scored 20 points.

Quote of the Night

Brad Stevens on Boston's recent success