for this game

Fisher leads shorthanded Jazz past lowly Celtics

Feb 25, 2007 - 6:23 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Derek Fisher picked up the slack for Deron Williams.

Fisher scored 21 points and Boozer added 16 and 10 rebounds for the Utah Jazz en route to a 105-87 triumph over the reeling Boston Celtics.

Gordan Giricek netted 16 points and Matt Harpring chipped in 15 off the bench for the Jazz, who won for the eighth time in nine games without starters Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko.

"Our bench has played extremely well," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "Our bench has been huge for us, as they have been all year long. Matt and (Paul) Millsap and (Giricek) is playing a lot better now. He seems to be playing with a lot more confidence."

Fisher was impressive, connecting on 8-of-11 shots - including 3-of-4 from 3-point range - compared to Williams' dismal 1-of-10 shooting performance.

"That's what we've been doing all year," Fisher said. "The fun part about it is that nobody on the team really cares who that guy is; whichever guy steps up and has that night to help us win, everybody's happy for him. That allows guys to keep playing with confidence when they're out there."

Boston's Delonte West closed the gap to 63-62 on his 18-footer with 5:24 remaining in the third quarter, but the Celtics would not get any closer thereafter.

The Jazz used a blistering 13-2 surge to finish out the third and grabbed a 76-64 advantage heading into the final quarter.

After Gerald Green's 3-pointer brought the Celtics within 78-71 with 9:52 left, Fisher answered with a long shot from the arc to push the lead back to double digits.

The Jazz registered a season-high 15 steals.

"We had guys diving for loose balls, scrapping ... that's gonna make us better in the long run," Boozer said. "If we can get plays like that, if balls bounce our way, so to speak, it makes things a little easier for us."

Paul Pierce scored 19 points and West added 16 and six assists for Boston, which shot 42 percent (31-of-73) and committed 23 turnovers.

"That's been the story of our season," Pierce said. "We get back in the game, then turnovers, missed shots, lack of defense, and then teams turn it on to another level and take us right back out of it."

The Celtics (13-42) have dropped 22 of their last 23 games, highlighted by their franchise-record 18-game losing streak.

  • NBA
    BOSTON 87
    UTAH 105 FINAL

    Feb 24 11:26 PM

    UTAH 76 END, 3RD QTR

    Feb 24 10:53 PM

  • NBA
    BOSTON 64

    Feb 24 10:50 PM

  • NBA
    BOSTON 41

    Feb 24 10:08 PM

  • NBA
    BOSTON 20
    UTAH 26 END, 1ST QTR

    Feb 24 9:37 PM