Celtics can’t handle Jazz for second time in nine days

Celtics can’t handle Jazz for second time in nine days

The Jazz were a playoff team last season and have one of the most balanced groups in the National Basketball Association, so it should be a fun one.

"It was just a veteran game out there, just great competition for a Friday night in the NBA", Irving said.

While no one is panicking, there is a clear and undeniable heightened level of concern within the locker room.

For Boston, it was a much-needed victory in a game that easily could have been mistaken for one in late May, not mid-November. Terry Rozier led Boston with 22 points, while Jayson Tatum had 21 and Morris 16 in that loss.

Raptors: Visit the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

"We know where his heart is as far as wanting to play the right way and being [selfless]", Snyder says.

YABA, DABBA DO!: Guerschon Yabusele didn't get on the floor until the game was out of reach, but Celtics fans - and the coaching staff - certainly had to like what they saw. Joe Ingles talled 14 points, three steals, two assists and two rebounds. They weren't expected to do as much, and I think that the amount of pressure that we put on them to perform every single night is something that they have to get used to, being part of a great team like this. But I thought Rubio more than made up with it with his overall defensive smarts, and holding Irving to only 20 after scoring 43 against Toronto on Friday is an accomplishment. But what Irving did that stood out was his shooting. He is trying to move the ball and get his teammates involved and is still putting up over 40 points.

Hayward hit a pair of free throws to open the overtime, Ibaka answered with a jumper and from there it was all Celtics.

The game pitted two of the NBA's biggest stars against each other, as Irving shared the court with Raptors small forward Kawhi Leonard at Boston's TD Garden.

Although it's obviously tough to think about how the Jazz could look if Lowry had teamed up with Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, there's plenty of reason for optimism in Utah.

LIVE AND DIE BY THE 3-BALL: Three-point shooting continues to be a feast or starvation proposition for the Celtics this season. Boston shot just 38.5 percent from the field against the Jazz, including 5 of 33 (15.2 percent) from 3-point range. He scored six unanswered points late to give the Jazz a three-point lead at 101-98. Coincidentally, 50 is how short the Jazz came up against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

In the end, Hayward turned in a 39-minute effort in which he scored 15 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field. And it's not like Irving was not being a willing passer. The Celtics posted just one straight-up victory while going winless against the spread during last week's junket, which they capped with Sunday's 100-94 loss in Portland as 2-point underdogs.

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