The Boston Celtics came up short against the Utah Jazz, 118-117, at Vivint Arena on Saturday night.
The Celtics fell to 49-23 while the Jazz improved to 34-36 on their season.
Check out the full box score here.
ONE BIG TAKEAWAY
An ongoing trend throughout Boston’s two-week road trip has been stooping down to competition, which continued once more against a Jazz team that ranked as the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference entering the night.
The Celtics’ box score would suggest they went head-to-head with one of the league’s best, fighting tooth and nail in the game’s crucial minutes. But then again, the Jazz looked the part with the way they guarded the rim. Boston knocked down 22 outside shot attempts, yet that served as a gap bridge to Utah’s 17 offensive rebounds — the most allowed by the Celtics in a game this season.
Meanwhile, with the Celtics in dire need of some dark horse contribution, Grant Williams answered. Rummaging from minutes in recent weeks, Williams came through and drained a game-leading seven 3-pointers, stepping up as the Jazz wisely double-teamed Jayson Tatum. But that wasn’t enough to secure a win, despite possession of a 19-point lead in the second quarter.
The C’s were without three key starters — Marcus Smart, Al Horford and Robert Williams — before taking the floor. This posed an obvious task that head coach Joe Mazzulla attempted to overcome, filling the size void with alternative rotations featuring Mike Muscala and Luke Kornet on the front court. And that game plan, like children’s glue, wasn’t sustainable.
With the loss, the Celtics fell to third in the Eastern Conference standings.
STARS OF THE GAME
— Williams, who wasn’t able to come through in the potential game-winning shot attempt, still registered an impressive showing. The 24-year-old finished with 23 points, shooting 8-of-16 from the field with four rebounds and six assists.
— Lauri Markkanen did right by his Most Improved Player of the Year campaign as Utah’s leader in the win. Markkanen notched a double-double, scoring a game-best 28 points with 10 rebounds and three assists.
— Malcolm Brogdon played leader in the reserve unit, scoring 16 points with four assists.
FanDuel Sports set the over/under on Jaylen Brown’s 3-pointer total at 2.5 with +100 odds on the Over before game time in Salt Lake City. The 26-year-old All-Star cleared those odds by halftime, draining 3-of-6 shots from beyond the arc after the first two quarters. A $100 wager on Brown would’ve resulted in a $200 total payout.
The Celtics, with another excruciating loss in the books, will end their six-game road trip against the Sacramento Kings. Tipoff on Tuesday night at Golden 1 Center is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET.