Celtics end road trip with win over JazzMar 1, 2011 - 6:41 AM Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Rajon Rondo made a key jumper with 24.1 seconds remaining, as the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics held off the Utah Jazz, 107-102, at EnergySolutions Arena.
Rondo ended with 18 points and 11 assists for the Celtics, who finished a four-game road trip with a 3-1 mark.
Three-point king Ray Allen made five shots from beyond the arc en route to 25 points for Boston, which got 21 points and seven rebounds from Paul Pierce. Kevin Garnett chipped in with 16 points and 14 boards.
The Celtics, who have won five of six overall, swept their home-and-home series with the Jazz for the first time since the 2005-06 campaign.
"There's always opportunity for complacency in the last game of the road trip, and I think right now we're satisfied that we ran through to the finish line and finished this trip off," Allen said.
Al Jefferson finished with 28 points and 19 rebounds for the Jazz, who have lost six in a row on their home court. Devin Harris and Andrei Kirilenko added 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Paul Millsap ended with 17 points for Utah, which is 1-6 since Tyrone Corbin took over for Jerry Sloan. The Jazz are in a battle for the final playoff spot in the West.
Jefferson's jumper with four minutes to play made it 94-94, but Boston took control from there. Glen Davis made 1-of-2 from the line at the other end before Garnett blocked Kirilenko's layup. Allen then did what nobody else in the NBA does better, draining a three-pointer for a 98-94 lead.
A traveling call on Jefferson gave the ball back to the Celtics, however, Rondo and Pierce missed shots in an attempt to extend the margin. Allen was then called for a foul while trying to swipe the ball from Harris, who made two from the line.
Utah had a chance to tie or go in front after Davis was called for an offensive foul. Harris, though, was off the mark with a three-pointer. Pierce was able to make his trey at the other end to give Boston a 101-96 edge with 1:56 to go.
Millsap recorded a three-point play with 1:15 left to cut the gap to 101-99. Allen followed with a 23-foot jumper to make it a four-point contest. Jefferson had a chance for a three-point play at the opposite end while being fouled on a jumper. But his missed foul shot kept it a 103-101 contest with 42.3 seconds remaining.
Rondo came up big for the Celtics by making a jumper from the foul line with 24.1 ticks left. Harris was fouled by Pierce at the other end, but only made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe.
Pierce put the game away at the foul line with two makes for a 107-102 lead with 11.8 ticks to go. Raja Bell missed a three-pointer and turned the ball over in the final seconds.
"We played hard, but we didn't play particularly smart in some situations down the stretch. We made a couple minimal mistakes," Corbin said.
With the score tied at 14-14 with 5:51 left in the first quarter, the Celtics ripped off 13 straight points. Nenad Krstic tallied six points during the burst, which Jeff Green capped the spurt with a hook shot for a 27-14 margin with 2:37 remaining.
Utah recorded the final four points of the period to get within nine, 30-21.
A Pierce three-pointer gave Boston a 42-31 edge with eight minutes left until the half. The Jazz responded with a 15-4 run to tie the game at 46-46 on Harris' layup with 3:19 remaining.
The Celtics held a 56-53 lead at the break despite Utah making 60 percent of its shots in the second quarter.
Boston led throughout the third but only took a 79-75 margin into the fourth.
The Celtics have won four of the last six meetings between the teams....The Jazz are 17-14 in Salt Lake City this season and haven't tasted victory at home since January 31 versus Charlotte...Krstic had 11 points for Boston, which went 7-of-15 from three-point range...Utah went 31-of-37 from the foul line...The Jazz started a three-game homestand on Monday.
- BOSTON: 107
Feb 28 11:29 PM
- BOSTON: 79
End of 3rd
Feb 28 10:48 PM
- BOSTON: 56
Feb 28 10:10 PM
- BOSTON: 30
End of 1st
Feb 28 9:34 PM
- BOSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 28 9:11 PM
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