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Celtics escape Utah with OT win
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce powered Boston with 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, as the Celtics handed the Utah Jazz a rare home loss with a 110-107 decision in overtime on Monday.
Pierce strung together a trio of scores in the extra session and Courtney Lee, who scored 14, added the clinching free throws in the waning seconds for Boston, which had lost four of five away from home coming in.
Avery Bradley added 18 points, Kevin Garnett totaled 13 points with 10 rebounds and Brandon Bass and Jason Terry scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, in the win.
Gordon Hayward scored 26 points and Al Jefferson tallied 15 points and 11 rebounds, but Randy Foye's desperation triple at the end of OT misfired, sending Utah to just its third loss at home since the start of 2013.
Paul Millsap suffered a sprained ankle, but battled through to score 16 points in the defeat.
The Jazz rallied in the fourth after a bad third quarter to tie the contest at 97-97 with 19.9 seconds left. After Pierce put the Celtics ahead with a jumper, Hayward penetrated the lane and threw an off-balanced pass to Alec Burks, who scooped it with his left hand over Garnett to even the score.
Pierce held for the last shot but DeMarre Carroll stuck with him, forcing the veteran into a tough turnaround fadeaway which rimmed out, forcing overtime.
However, Pierce would not be silenced in the extra session, draining the go- ahead triple before sinking a pair of jumpers during a personal 7-0 surge to stake Boston to a 106-101 lead with just over a minute left.
Utah was able to come within three and got the ball back after a 24-second violation on the Celtics, but couldn't an open look from the field. Garnett decided to foul Millsap on the floor rather than the Jazz attempt a game-tying triple. Millsap sank both free throws, but the Jazz remained behind by one.
Lee then sank two free throws with 1.2 seconds left prior to Foye's 3-point attempt, which sailed wide left.
The Celtics trailed by five at the end of the first half, but outscored the Jazz 32-19 in the third to take an 80-72 lead into the fourth. Bradley and Terry each knocked down a pair of triples in the period and the Celtics shot 59.1 percent for the quarter.
The Celtics have defeated the Jazz in five straight meetings ... Utah outrebounded Boston by a 44-37 count and won the battle in the paint, 44-28 ... The Celtics made 10-of-27 from 3-point range.
02/26 00:33:17 ET
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