Celtics shootout with Jazz to open West Coast road trip
Dec 3 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, United States; Boston Celtics goalie Romeo Langford (9) and Utah Jazz goalie Mike Conley (11) fight for the rebound in the second quarter at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Opening a five-game, eight-day road trip on the West Coast, the Celtics were in Utah Friday night to face the Jazz. In a two-way shootout, the Jazz came away with a 137-130 victory.
The best offense in the NBA proved too heavy for the Celtics, who allowed quarterbacks of 38, 21, 41 and 37 points. Utah shot 55.6 percent from the ground and was 27 of 51 of three.
The Celtics lost 14-2 early before calling a timeout. Utah was sloppy at times, returning the ball eight times in the first quarter allowing the Celtics 13 points, but the Jazz still managed to take a 38-25 lead late in the first quarter.
In the middle of the second quarter, the Celtics found rhythm. They continued a 12-0 run, reducing Utah’s lead to three and forcing the Jazz to take a time out as their lead narrowed to three.
At the end of the time out, Marcus Smart made one of the games of the year. He ran from the three-point line for a strikeout poster dunk, putting the Celtics within four.
Thanks to Al Horford’s 12-point quarterback, the Celtics were able to close the gap to just one point. They ended up heading towards halftime with three losses, 59-56.
It only took the Celtics two minutes to tie the game in the third quarter. For the remainder of the quarter, the teams were rarely separated by more than one possession, and the Jazz led 100-97 before the fourth.
The Celtics reached a four-point lead with about six minutes to go, but two minutes later Utah was back. Donovan Mitchell scored eight straight points, and Utah was back by four with 2:24 left in the game. It was part of a 13-2 run for Utah that sidelined the game.
Tatum put in another strong performance in the loss, scoring a high of 37 points. He was 12 of 25 on the field and added six rebounds and five assists. Other Celtics top scorers included Dennis Schroder (26 points), Al Horford (21 points) and Marcus Smart (15 points). Jason Richardson added 11 off the bench.
Mitchell’s late run capped a 34-point game that saw him shoot 12 of 22 from the floor and 6 of 14 of three. Mike Conley contributed 29 points and Rudy Gobert had a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.
With the loss, the Celtics drop to 12-10 this season. They are now 6-6 behind TD Garden.
That west coast swing for the Celtics continues tomorrow night when the team travel to Portland to face the Blazers. This game kicks off at 10 p.m., with coverage starting at 9:30 a.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group or any affiliate. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or by e-mail to [email protected].