Kevin Garnett had 23 points, Paul Pierce scored 20 and Brandon Bass added 19 as the Celtics overcame blowing an 18-point second-half lead to outlast the Jazz, 94-82, Wednesday night at TD Garden. Al Jefferson -- who had a minor arm-swinging run-in with Garnett in the fourth -- finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. As a result of their third straight win, the Celtics improved to 28-22 and again tied the 76ers for first in the Atlantic Division.
Rajon Rondo finished with 14 assists, becoming the first NBA player with double-digit assist totals in 11 straight games since Steve Nash in 2009.
Both teams were sluggish to start the game and it showed in the shooting percentages, as the Jazz made just 7-of-21 shots but converted all three 3-pointers they attempted to take a 21-18 lead after 12 minutes. The Celtics -- who made just 8-of-22 shots in the opening quarter -- found their shooting range in the second quarter, converting 11-of-20 shots. The highlights of the first half were alley-oop dunks by Ryan Hollins on perfect feeds from Rondo on consecutive possessions.
Trailing 23-18 following a Derrick Favors dunk on the first play of the second quarter, the Celtics went on a 26-6 run to take a 15-point lead. The Celtics outscored Utah 28-14 in the second quarter to take a 46-35 halftime lead.
The Celtics continued on fire in the third quarter, builing their lead up to 18 (61-43) early in the quarter. But Utah closed with a 17-3 spurt to get within four, 64-60. The Jazz held a commanding 42-25 rebounding edge, offsetting Boston's ballhandling advantage. The Celtics committed just six turnovers while Utah had 13.
Alec Burks drove to the basket, made a layup and was fouled. His free throw knotted the game, 66-66, with just over 11 minutes left. But Keyon Dooling answered on the next possession with a 3-pointer and Garnett followed that up on the next possession with a jumper as part of a 7-0 run that made it 73-66.
Jazz guard Gordon Haward provided a spectacular highlight, blocking Dooling and Avery Bradley in the span of 10 seconds on consecutive bids for a layup. He then scrambled for the loose ball and raced up the court with the ball, leading to a pair of Jazz free throws.
The Celtics are off Thursday before traveling to Minnesota for a Friday night game against Kevin Love and the Timberwolves. They return home Sunday to host LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat at the Garden.
Patriots Safety Devin McCourty joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian, and talked about covering the Steelers Wide Receivers, and how he's helping the players who are in the AFC Championship for the first time prepare.
ProFootball Talk's Mike Florio told Glenn, Lou, and Christian that the Patriots have a quiet confidence that they can outscore the Steelers, since they've proven they have the ability.
Holley and Keefe check in with NFL Network's Heath Evans for some final thoughts on the Houston win and to look ahead at the Steelers in the AFC Championship.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Rob Bradford is joined by Jackie Bradley Jr. to discuss race in baseball and in Boston, along with the importance of Martin Luther King Day. The Red Sox outfielder also dives into how he never really felt comfortable in a major league clubhouse until last year, the approach he's taking heading into 2017, and why he's not playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
"D-Wood" Joins the show to talk Brady vs. Rodgers and predicts a Patriots-Packers Super Bowl.
Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.
Hour 3. Ben Volin shares a stat about Trump that will blow your mind. Mut wouldn't answer any questions about Trump's alleged sexual assaults.
Old Friend Tim Benz joins OMF, and while they regale tales of dysfunction, Benz manages to predict that the Patriots will win Sunday.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian enjoy the festivities ahead of the Inauguration, and give their predictions for Patriots-Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian love how Bill Belichick reacts to the plethora of stupid questions he receives from the Media during his Press Conferences.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe spend the day discussing the AFC Championship.
We close out the work week with the best sound clips of the day.
We check in with hall of famer Michael Irvin to find out what happened to his Dallas Cowboys and look at the remaining playoff match-ups.
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Uncle Buck, George from S**t Pats Fans Say, and Jerry Thornton talk about the Patriots history in the AFC Championship game, the big wins, the bad losses, and what it will take for the Pats to win another AFC Championship game.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the Thursday K&C show featuring Jon Meterparel back in the saddle.
Hour 1. Gerry is going to Trump's Inauguration. Robert Kraft is still not happy with the NFL.More from this show
Hour 2. Ben Volin joins the show to discuss the Patriots game this weekend.More from this show
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe spend the day discussing the AFC Championship.More from this show
Kirk Minihane is joined by his long time nemesis Bart Hubbuch. Kirk and Bart discuss the incident between the two that led to Kirk being let go from Comcast and the long standing issue of deflategate. Bart annoyingly wouldn't get of his speaker phone. This is an explosive interview between two guys who admittedly dislike each other.More from this show