Boston — For the first time since 2008, the Utah Jazz defeated the Boston Celtics, in Boston. Ending over a 10-game losing streak at TD Garden. Despite Kyrie Irving’s attempted heroics in the second half, it wasn’t enough for Brad Stevens and co. at home.
The game itself was surrounded by injuries, with Jazz center suffering a Grade 1 MCL Sprain two minutes into the first quarter with his teammate, Derrick Favors tumbling into his leg; Favors taking an elbow above the eye from Jaylen Brown and bleeding, and Celtics big-man Daniel Theis suffering a facial injury.
With Utah losing two of their starting big-man duo, they still dominated Boston on the glass 55-31, for a +24 advantage.
“They lost a lot more size than we did tonight,” said Brad Stevens in his postgame presser. “I think it was an effort thing on their part beating us. We need out wings to rebound a heck of a lot better. We need everybody to get guys off. Again, I think each game in a vacuum you go back and look at it you can figure what strategically went wrong. We were not near as good as them tactically. We just didn’t play hard enough.”
The only two Celtics to have shown up consistently on the offensive side of the basketball were Al Horford (21 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists) and Kyrie Irving (33 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds). Irving attempted to lead the Celtics on runs late in the third quarter until midway through the fourth until it was just too late.
“He did a good job,” said Stevens. “When we trying to come back and they really started blitzing him, he passed out of that thing and we missed open threes. He has to pass that and we have to take those shots and we have to make those shots to make them get out of a blitz. That’s one of those things where you have to keep making the right basketball play.”
“He played pretty darn inspiring and gave us a chance going into the fourth quarter,” said Stevens.