Live Blog: Jazz at Celtics


Nov 11, 2009

Live Blog: Jazz at Celtics Final, Celtics 105-86: Bill Walker made his season debut for the Celtics before this one went final.

Walker had surgery on his right knee during the preseason. It was good to see him get a little action.

In addition to that nice note, the Celtics dominated on several fronts and have to feel good about themselves heading into Friday night's contest with Atlanta.

Boston ended up shooting 53 percent from the floor and had 30 assists on 41 baskets. They forced 21 turnovers and held Utah to an 0-of-10 mark from beyond the arc.

In a balanced attack, the Celtics got seven players to score between 10 and 18 points. Kevin Garnett led the way, while Rajon Rondo had 14 points and 11 assists.

No Jazz player scored more than 13 points as they fall to 3-5.

Check back soon for a feature on the Celtics' ability to get energized with a few days off and what that means going forward.

Also, we'll be keeping up with all the action Friday so make sure to follow along.

Fourth quarter, 2:24, Celtics 103-80: The Garden has begun to empty and it's just a matter of reaching the finish line here.

Boston will improve to an NBA-best 8-1. It hosts Atlanta here Friday, part of a stretch in which the Celts play six of eight games at home.

Fourth quarter, 4:27, Celtics 99-80: Maybe I just didn't notice earlier, but Eddie House is without his headband tonight.

Not sure what the reason for it is, as House always sports one, but he just nailed a jumper to cut short a quick burst by the Jazz.

Fourth quarter, 5:37, Celtics 97-76: There's been a Lester Hudson sighting and it's safe to say this one is just about over with.

Fourth quarter, 8:05, Celtics 91-70: Deron Williams has been out for a bit now and Eric Maynor is running point for the Jazz with the rest of the starting unit.

It's safe to say Williams has been put down for the night. No need to risk him hurting his back even more in a game that appears to be out of reach.

Fourth quarter, 9:43, Celtics 89-66: Eddie House breaks into the scoring column with a 3-pointer from the corner and the Celtics lead reaches a game-high 23 points.

Ray Allen is the lone remaining Boston starter in the game. Unless the Jazz mount something soon, he may be the last.

End of third quarter, Celtics 84-62: Rajon Rondo singlehandedly ends another solid third quarter by the Celtics with a spectacular drive to the hoop and a basket at the buzzer.

Rondo flew past numerous Jazz defenders virtually untouched and scooped in a layup to give himself 14 points. Utah coach Jerry Sloan likely was not pleased with that one, which gave Boston a game-high 22-point lead.

All five Celtics starters are in double figures. Utah has turned the ball over 18 times and is 0-of-8 from 3-point range.

Third quarter, 2:00, Celtics 77-59: There have been several special announcements and tributes on this Veterans Day and the Celtics just added another.

They honored an usher who waved down an Orange Line conductor to prevent a train from running over a woman who had fallen on the North Station tracks last Friday.

The usher was given a standing ovation and the crowd began to chant his first name, Bill, over and over.

Nice touch.

Third quarter, 2:51, Celtics 77-56: Kevin Garnett sticks a jumper to push the Celtics' lead past 20 for the first time, but Ronnie Brewer responds.

Garnett is quick to answer on his own with an alley-oop in traffic on a feed from Rajon Rondo that brings the crowd to its feet.

I guess it's been said a bit too much, but it's still notable when Garnett falls awkwardly, as he did after the alley-oop. Also, it was against the Jazz last season that he hurt his knee. He seems perfectly fine after the latest spill.

Third quarter, 4:45, Celtics 71-52: You don't see that too often.

Officials whistle a double lane violation on a free-throw attempt, leading to a jump ball at half court.

The Celtics win the jump and see Kevin Garnett take a long 3-pointer as the shot clock expired.

You don't see that too often, either.

Garnett's first 3-point try since Feb. 8 clangs off the iron.

Third quarter, 8:18, Celtics 69-50: A great example of ball movement gives Rajon Rondo a basket and forces Utah coach Jerry Sloan to call a timeout.

The Celts are shooting 57.8 percent from the floor and have 20 assists on 26 baskets.

Utah, meanwhile, has 14 turnovers against just 10 assists, a ratio similar to those we saw when Boston destroyed some opponents early on.

Third quarter, 8:51, Celtics 67-50: The Celtics are playing with so much more energy than they were at the end of that season-opening stretch of eight games in 12 days.

It is clear the three days off have served them well. Earlier, when they had their legs, they seemed to dominate opponents in the third quarter, and we're seeing that again tonight.

Third quarter, 10:50, Celtics 57-46: Paul Pierce opens the second half with a 3-pointer.

Pierce took just three shots in the first half. Let's see if the Celtics look to get him going.

Halftime, Celtics 54-44: The last 15 seconds of the first half took about 10 minutes to play with some confusion over a Jazz substitution.

When we finally got around to finishing things Paul Pierce turned the ball over and Utah missed a prayer, leaving it a 10-point game at the break.

The Celtics are outshooting the Jazz, 54 percent to 45 percent, and have made the only three 3-pointers in the game.

Doc Rivers said before the game he was concerned about Utah's ability to get points in the paint. Boston leads in that category as well, 30-22.

There is also some nice balance for the hosts, who have 10 points from three players and four more with between five and seven points.

Back in a bit for the second half.

Second quarter, 2:51, Celtics 48-37: I hate to keep harping on a guy few of you really care about, but Mehmet Okur is killing Utah tonight.

He just committed his fourth turnover in 13 minutes when Kevin Garnett stripped him, leading to a great feed from Rajon Rondo to Kendrick Perkins on the other end.

Perkins has six points this quarter and has put up six shots after not taking any in nine minutes of the first.

Second quarter, 4:20, Celtics 44-37: The Kendrick Perkins-Paul Millsap matchup has been a good one to watch as both teams are going plenty to those guys.

Millsap, the smaller and quicker of the two, just toyed with Perkins before hitting a jumper on the baseline. Perkins answered seconds later by getting free underneath for a dunk.

Second quarter, 6:37, Celtics 38-31: The Jazz just tossed another possession away when a bounce pass to an open Carlos Boozer went out of bounds.

They now have eight turnovers and are 0-of-4 from 3-point range.

Second quarter, 7:40, Celtics 38-29: Give Kendrick Perkins a lot of credit for how he got his first two points of the night, first having the ball swatted away but sticking with it and converting.

The Celtics went to Perkins the next possession, working on Paul Millsap.

Second quarter, 9:55, Celtics 36-27: A pair of 3-pointers by Rasheed Wallace opened things up just a bit.

Wallace was wide open on both. He still leads the Celtics in 3s with 19.

End of first quarter, Celtics 28-23: An awful turnover by Utah just before the first quarter ended leads to an easy layup by Rajon Rondo.

Mehmet Okur again was the culprit for the Jazz. He tried to hand the ball off to Deron Williams far from the basket and basically just left it sitting for Rondo.

Okur finished the first quarter 2-of-6 from the floor and turned the ball over three times.

Boston shot 61 percent (11-of-18) in the quarter.

On a side note, Shelden Williams entered the game with 2:23 left in the quarter and committed two fouls in the first 48 seconds.

First quarter, 2:23, Celtics 23-21: The Celtics are shooting 69 percent (9-of-13) from the floor but will only be up one point if Mehmet Okur hits a free throw on the other side of the break.

The offensive rebounds have certainly hurt, and Ronnie Brewer also hit a fadeaway bank from the top of the key as the shot clock expired, an unfortunate end to one of Boston's best defensive possessions thus far.

First quarter, 3:54, Celtics 19-17: It took Paul Pierce over seven minutes to take his first shot, a miss from long range.

It took him 11 more seconds to take his second, a make from long range.

First quarter, 5:26, Celtics 16-14: An 8-2 Jazz run has cut the Celtics' lead to two midway through the first quarter.

Utah already has five offensive boards, the last of which Paul Millsap turned into an easy basket underneath.

First quarter, 7:37, Celtics 14-8: Sure enough, Rajon Rondo has tested Deron Williams early and has four points and a pair of assists to show for it.

I would've said that Williams did look a little slow with the back pain but just as I thought that he grabbed an offensive rebound between Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Every Celtic other than Pierce has scored already.

First quarter, 9:37, Celtics 8-4: Mehmet Okur was made to look bad on the first couple of Jazz possessions, missing one shot badly and then getting stripped by Kevin Garnett.

The Celtics turned both chances into points with a pair of free throws by Kendrick Perkins and a nice layup by Rajon Rondo.

7:36 p.m.: There was a moment of silence in honor of Veterans Day and we're now getting introduced to the starting lineups.

I should've mentioned earlier that Deron Williams was a question mark for this one with a back injury, but is suited up and ready to go.

It bears watching how Rajon Rondo attacks Williams early on, and how many minutes the Jazz leader is able to play.

7:00 p.m.: Just back from the Doc Rivers press conference, where he discussed everything from Utah guard Deron Williams to the meaning of Veterans Day.

Rivers had high praise for Williams, saying he might be the best guard in the league.

"He's a great player," Rivers said. "His shot sets him aside from other point guards. He's a heckuva shooter."

Williams' ability to push the tempo is a concern as well, according to Rivers, who said getting back on defense will be the key to the game.

Rivers, whose father was a veteran, said he would make sure he addressed the day with his team just to make sure they are aware of what is important.

"I'm going to ask my guys if they even know what day it is," Rivers said. "A lot of people think Veterans Day is just a day off…This is not just a basketball game. I know how important it is to be aware of what the day means."

As for updates on the lineup, there will be no Brian Scalabrine tonight. Scalabrine has been bothered by back spasms.

Starting lineups are also in. Boston goes with the usual five of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Kendrick Perkins.

Utah starts Williams and Ronnie Brewer at guard, Andrei Kirilenko and Carlos Boozer at forward and Mehmet Okur at center.

We're a half-hour from tip so stick around.

10:00 a.m.: After some much-needed rest the Celtics are back in action, hosting Utah at TD Garden.

Boston finished a tough opening schedule of eight games in 12 nights by going an impressive 7-1. More importantly, it avoided the injury bug that has hit a handful of teams, notably the C's last opponent.

On Saturday, facing the banged up Nets, the Celts struggled before pulling away to nab an 86-76 victory. Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo scored 16 points apiece and New Jersey, playing with just eight healthy men, became the fifth team to be held under 90 points by Boston.

The C's, one of two teams in the league with seven wins, have held their opponents to an average of 84.4 points, lowest in the NBA.

Utah struggled a bit out of the gate but has won two of its last three, including a 95-93 win over New York in Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Andrei Kirilenko and Carlos Boozer both had 23 points to lead the way.

Deron Williams, who leads the Jazz in scoring, was limited to five points but had 16 assists. Williams enters the night third in the NBA in total assists, just ahead of Rondo.

The teams split a pair of meetings last season.

It should be an entertaining affair as Utah continues a difficult road trip and Boston begins a stretch in which it plays six of its next eight games at home. I'll be following along from the Garden so check back before the 7:30 tip and keep it here for all the action.

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