March 28, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Utah Jazz forward/center Al Jefferson (25) is guarded by Boston Celtics forward/center Kevin Garnett (5) during the third quarter at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
Kevin Garnett posted a 23-point, 10 rebound double-double, including 10 fourth quarter points that lifted the Boston Celtics to a 94-82 home win over the Utah Jazz Wednesday night.
The Jazz, who have the worst home/road record differential in the league, started strong and then worked hard to come back after falling behind by as many as 18 points in the third quarter. Ultimately, the home team clamped down on their guests, and the Jazz suffered yet another loss away from Salt Lake City.
Utah got off to a good start early despite Al Jefferson missing his first seven shots of the game, all in the first quarter. The Jazz took advantage of errant Boston shooting (8-for-22) in the quarter to grab an early 21-18 advantage.
Boston came raging back in the second quarter, however, outworking the Jazz reserves to the tune of a 16-2 run to start the quarter. The starters returned to try and stop the Celtics' momentum, but Rajon Rondo set Ryan Hollins up with a pair of enthusiastic slams and the Celtics took an eleven point lead into the half.
Al Jefferson, who was held in check for only two first-half points, came alive after halftime with a14-point third quarter and the Jazz went on an 18-5 run after a timeout with 7 1/2 minutes left in the quarter after the C's had built their lead out to 18. Gordon Hayward's seven points and Paul Millsap's three comprised 23 of the Jazz 26 points to get them back into the game.
After their starters played almost the entire third quarter, the Jazz reserves, led by Enes Kanter and Alec Burks, continued the work done by Jefferson, Hayward and Millsap and tied the game early in the fourth quarter.
With the score 73-70 in Boston's favor, the Celtics clicked off a 13-3 run to get control of the game again, even after the Utah starters returned. Kevin Garnett's 10 points and Brandon Bass' six down the stretch were key in getting the win for the Celtics.
Boston is the worst offensive rebounding team in the league and was heavily outrebounded in the game, 49-38, despite outshooting the Jazz 47 percent to 39 percent for the game. The glass edge for Utah included a 16-4 advantage on offensive rebounds. Boston countered with better shooting, both from the field and free throw line to overcome their glass deficiencies.
The Jazz backcourt was rendered ineffective by Rondo and Avery Bradley. Bradley started due to Ray Allen's sore ankle and he and Rondo combined to hold Devin Harris to five points, seven assists, four turnovers in 34 minutes and C.J. Miles to a miserable 1-for-10 from the field, with three points, three rebounds and an assist in 29 minutes.
For all of Wednesday's box scores, see SI.com's NBA scoreboard.