NBA

IT4 Racks up 15 Assists; Celtics Defeat Jazz 115-104

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Behind another career night from Isaiah Thomas, the Boston Celtics were able to play a complete game and defeat the Utah Jazz 115-104 at TD Garden.

Boston started the game fast, playing great transition basketball and jumping out to an early lead behind 9 first quarter points from Isaiah Thomas. Gordon Hayward played great as well though, and led all scorers after the opening quarter with the Jazz holding a small 29-28 lead.

The Celtics got some great minutes from rookie Jaylen Brown in the second quarter, playing well on both ends and finishing the game with 10 points off the bench. Boston loves to see that from him as they look for more players to bring consistency off the bench. By the half, Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 14 points and the Celtics held a decent 54-45 lead, looking to carry some momentum into the second half.

Just minutes into the 3rd quarter, Boston had gone on a run and extended their lead to 14 points as Isaiah Thomas dished out his 11th assist of the night. Jae Crowder (5/6 3-pointers) hit a couple of important 3’s and the Celtics were able to find a rhythm and pull ahead by as much as 17 points as he led all scorers heading into the final quarter with 21.

Boston fell asleep on Joe Johnson in the 4th quarter and let him score 14 points in 14 minutes and bring the Jazz back into the game. Utah was able to pull the game to within 7 points, but the Celtics refused to let them in, moving the ball around with precision and hitting some important late 3 point shots to come away with a very important 115-104 win.

Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 29 points and after being criticized after his 52 point performance against Miami on Friday for having no assists, had 15 of them tonight. The 15 assists for IT was a career-high and after losing out on Eastern Conference player of the month for December, he proved to be a complete point guard and continues let his play silence the critics. He wasn’t the only player contributing for the Celtics though, as they had 5 players in double figures. Crowder and Horford each had 21 points, Avery Bradley had 14 points and Jaylen Brown finished with 10.

Utah typically relies on the play of big-man Rudy Gobert but he was a non-factor tonight finishing the game with only 8 points and 13 rebounds. Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 23 points and Joe Johnson helped out off the bench as well with 17 points, but it wasn’t enough to match the Celtic’s all around game.

Boston increases their record to 21-14 and build on some much needed momentum heading into a double header, with the 76ers coming to town on Friday and the Pelicans flying in on Saturday.

 

Off the Rip Sports live tweeted this game so to see highlights and a play by play of the action, make sure to follow @sports_OTR on twitter!

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