The Celtics extended their win streak to 3, beating the Utah Jazz thanks to some inspired play from Jeff Green (16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists) and Leandro Barbosa (16 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists) who started the fire for a Celtics team that couldn't quite shake a fast-breaking, hard-rebounding Utah team, and later replaced a gimpy Rajon Rondo to help pilot the C's to a 98-93 win at home.
Before the Brazilian Blur took an extended solo on the Jazz interior defense, Utah big men Paul Millsap (a Mon-star like 20 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal) and old Celtic Al Jefferson (13 points, 14 relentless rebounds, 3 assists) had their way on the parquet. Gordon Hayward and Mo Williams got a few powerful licks in as well with 14 apiece.
Paul Pierce (broken record here, folks) scored a team-high 23, though he did it on less-than-stellar 7-17 shooting. Rondo (on auto-loop) again reached double-digit assists before turning his right ankle and sitting out the rest of the game.
But, the story, indeed, was Barbosa and the re-emergence of pre-season Green who acted like a real @$$hole and aggressively attacked the hoop during important stretches of the game when the teams traded baskets in a close contest.
Also worthy of note: Chris Wilcox continues to give Coach Doc Rivers confidence enough to rest Kevin Garnett for longer minutes, keeping him fresh for the critical home-stretch. Wilcox played 18 minutes to KG's 30.
The C's appear to be tightening up the defense along with the much-improved offense and their effort against the Jazz gave them a .500 record at home moving forward.
The C's won't have much time to celebrate the win, though...next up, the Brooklyn Nets...back-to-back, Jack!! Will Rondo play? Tune in and find out!
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets
Thursday, November 15th, 2012
@ The Barclays Center
LET'S GO, C'S!!!