The Jazz scored 16 straight points
between late in the second period and early in the third and held on to
the lead the rest of the way, beating the Boston Celtics 110-97 on
Boston led by 12 before the Jazz got
the halftime deficit to five, then opened the third quarter on a 9-0
run and pulled away from the stunned Celtics.
“The way we ended the second quarter
kind of gave us a little bit of confidence and that kind of carried
over to that second half,” said Deron Williams, who had 22 points and
Mehmet Okur scored all of his 14
points in the second half and pulled down 15 rebounds, C.J. Miles added
23 points and Carlos Boozer overcame early foul trouble to finish with
19 points — all but one in the second half — nine rebounds and two
The Celtics, who had won four
straight, had Utah’s top two centers and power forwards in foul trouble
for much of the first half, but didn’t capitalize in the second after
the Jazz came out running.
“I think as a team we were
disappointed because we wanted to close the quarter out a little
better,” said Ray Allen, who scored 15 for the Celtics. “They attacked
us and we never took the attack away from them. We were kind of
reacting to everything they were doing and then before you know it we
Okur added three blocks for the Jazz,
who controlled the lane and outscored the Celtics 50-36 inside despite
Utah’s foul trouble.
Utah outscored Boston 61-43 in the
second half and coach Doc Rivers had seen enough with 1:11 left, when
he was ejected with two technical fouls.
Rivers stood and glared at referee
Ed Malloy while clapping his hands after the first technical. Malloy
didn’t take Rivers’ gesture as applause and quickly called the second,
pointing toward the coach and then the tunnel.
Rivers’ players followed a few minutes later, knowing they had let one get away.
“They started the third quarter
pretty electric,” Garnett said. “You pretty much have to anticipate it.
As many times as I have played here, they have always been able to come
Boston had Boozer, Okur and reserves
Paul Millsap and Kosta Koufos in foul trouble in the first half, but
didn’t take advantage. Okur was able to stay out of trouble by keeping
out of the lane and making four 3-pointers during Utah’s second-half
Boozer added the defensive play of
the night when he swatted back Allen’s 3-point attempt, then ran down
the loose ball for a two-handed dunk that put the Jazz up 95-81 with
6:41 left. Jazz fans were rumbling even before Boozer got to the ball
and continued to roar through a timeout called by the Celtics.
Boozer played less than 10 minutes
in the first half because of fouls, then made 7 of 8 shots in the
second half with no more fouls.
“I was juiced. I couldn’t wait to
get back on the court,” Boozer said. “I came out in the third quarter
with a whole new energy.”
With the win and Dallas’ loss to New
Orleans, the Jazz pulled within 1 1/2 games of the Mavericks for the
No. 3 spot in the Western Conference and two games behind Denver in the
After missing all six 3-point
attempts in the first half, Utah was 7-of-15 in the second half. The
Jazz also went 21-for-27 from the foul line, where Williams made all 11
of his shots.
The Jazz closed the second period on
a 7-0 run to get within 54-49 at halftime, then scored the first nine
of the third quarter. Miles opened the third quarter with two free
throws, Williams found Boozer alone under the basket for an easy layup
and then Okur hit a 3-pointer that put Utah up 56-54 and the Jazz never
“We got back in the ballgame and
gave ourselves a little bit of life and then we carried it on for the
rest of the game,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. “We had a lot of guys
play well and we had to in order to beat that team.”
Malloy received a mock cheer
when he called Rajon Rondo for a foul after a string of calls had gone
against the Jazz in the second quarter. … Boston had won five of six.
… Williams got his 36th double-double. … Davis missed a few minutes
after taking an elbow from Millsap to the face as the two battled for a
rebound. He returned in the fourth quarter with tissue stuffed in one
nostril to stop the bleeding.