Jared Wickerham

Celtics 98, Jazz 93: Boston's bench thrives in win over Utah

Leandro Barbosa and Jeff Green led the bench with 16 points each as the Boston Celtics beat the Utah Jazz, 98-93, from the TD Garden Wednesday night in Boston, MA.

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Celtics 98, Jazz 93: Boston extends 3-game streak

Paul Pierce had 23 points as the Boston Celtics used a strong fourth quarter to beat the Utah Jazz, 98-93, from the TD Garden Wednesday night in Boston, MA.

Thanks to Pierce's hot hand, Leandro Barbosa's big play in place of the injured Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green's impact in the fourth quarter, the Celtics took control in the second half after trailing, 46-44, at halftime.

Pierce got going in the third quarter, scoring 11-straight points to open up a two-point lead. Barbosa entered for an injured Rondo, who rolled his right ankle at the 4:54 mark third. He notched a quick six points, which extended Boston's lead to eight points. The Celtics would only lead by three heading into the fourth quarter though when Utah refused to go away.

Without Rondo in the fourth, Jeff Green used his athleticism and size inside to maintain Boston's lead until the remaining minutes, when the Jazz tied the ballgame up 93-93 with just under two minutes remaining.

A late free throw from Kevin Garnett gave the Celtics a one-point lead before Pierce knocked down two free throws with 19.5 second remaining to lead the Jazz by three.

Thanks to 18 offensive rebounds for Utah, the Jazz were able to stay in the game until the very end despite shooting only 40 percent from the field.

Chris Wilcox, Jared Sullinger, Green and Barbosa have developed distinct roles off the bench as the season drags on, making it easier for head coach Doc Rivers to put together a distinct rotation for the time being.

Wilcox seems to be the go-to big man behind Garnett at the center position, while rookie Jared Sullinger is still playing solid minutes behind power forward Brandon Bass. Green and Barbosa have been energy guys off the bench, hustling around the floor, drawing contact inside and running in transition. Green finished with 16 points over 27 minutes, while notching four rebounds and two assists. Barbosa tied Green for a bench-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while dishing out three assists.

Paul Millsap scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on the night to lead the Jazz, while Rondo notched 10 assists and six points despite not playing most of the second half.

Rondo's 10 assists on the night made it 32-straight games in which he recorded double-digit assists.

Final - 11.14.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Utah Jazz 25 21 24 23 93
Boston Celtics 20 24 29 25 98

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For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit SB Nation's team blog, CelticsBlog.


VIDEO: Celtics' Jeff Green dunks on Al Jefferson

BOSTON - Jeff Green needed a big moment to get his season going. He provided it late in the fourth quarter of the Boston Celtics' home game against the Utah Jazz.

Green took a pass on the left wing and drove to the hoop to provide a posterizing dunk over former Celtic and current Jazz big man Al Jefferson, a throw down that sent the TD Garden crowd into a frenzy.

Entering the game, Green was averaging 7.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in seven games and was facing heavy criticism about his play after signing a three-year deal worth $36 million in the offseason. Green, who was traded to the Celtics in the deal that sent Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder, has career averages of 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting at a career 44.4 percent rate.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, Celtics Blog.


Rajon Rondo injury: Celtics guard injures his foot

UPDATE: Rondo returned to the Celtics' bench within the last minute of play in the third quarter. Official word for the Boston PR staff is that Rondo rolled his right ankle.

BOSTON - Boston Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo appeared to suffer a left foot injury late in the third quarter during his team's game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Rondo limped to the sidelines after he suffered a non-contact injury and walked to the Celtics bench unassisted, where he was attended to by Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte. One minute later, Rondo was accompanied to the locker room by Lacerte.

Before leaving the game, Rondo extended his streak of double-digit assists to 32 straight games. He now only trails John Stockton and Magic Johnson (who had an NBA record 44 consecutive games with double-digit assists). Rondo scored six points and had 10 assists and three rebounds in 25 minutes before departing.

Boston currently leads Utah, 68-65, with 2:00 left in the third quarter.

For more Boston Celtics scores and news, visit our team blog, Celtics Blog.


Jazz 46, Celtics 44: Starters struggling early

Rajon Rondo had six points, five assists and three rebounds as the Boston Celtics trail the Utah Jazz, 46-44, at the half from the TD Garden Wednesday night in Boston, MA.

For the first three minutes of the game, Boston's defense looked to be intact as the previous defensive force they have been known as over the past few years.

Mere minutes later and the Jazz were dominating the paint, running in transition and moving the ball to open shooters, making the Celtics look like the aging group that sleep walked through the first few games of the season. Through the first eight minutes of the first quarter, Utah scored all 14 of their points in the paint and were killing Boston on the boards.

This forced Celtics' head coach Doc Rivers to roll with his bench to close the first quarter, trailing the Jazz, 25-20.

Leandro Barbosa would lead a furious 9-2 run, in which he scored seven points over four minutes to get the Celtics back into the game to start the second. The Celtics and Jazz would trade leads throughout the first six minutes of the second quarter as the primary Boston starters rested and Barbosa, along with Jeff Green, carried the offense. By the time Rondo checked back into the game, the Boston defense had turned up it's intensity yet again and it's offense was hitting on all cylinders.

Rondo wouldn't get his first assist of the game until the 6:05 mark in the second quarter. Rondo would finish the first half with five assists. He is attempting to continue a streak of 31-straight games in which he has 10 or more assists.

Utah out-rebounded Boston 24-17 in the first half, including a whopping eight offensive boards. The Celtics shot 47 percent from the field, while the Jazz knocked down 42 percent of their shots. Barbosa and Green led Boston with seven points each in the first half, while Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors each had 10 points for Utah.

Intermission 1 2 3 4 Total
Utah Jazz 25 21 46
Boston Celtics 20 24 44

Complete Coverage >

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit SB Nation's team blog, CelticsBlog.


Celtics vs. Jazz: Big Al returns with Utah

Al Jefferson returns to Boston with his Utah Jazz for a game against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

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