NBA Game Summary - Utah at Boston
(Wednesday, December 21st)
Final Score: Boston 101, Utah 89
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce poured in 30 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 101-89 victory over Utah at TD Banknorth Garden.
Delonte West chipped in 15 points and added seven rebounds and three steals for Boston, which won back-to-back games for the first time all season. Ricky Davis donated 20 points and four assists in the win.
"It's good man, finally to get that monkey off our backs, something we've been talking about for a little while now," Pierce said. "Hopefully we can build on it. It wasn't pretty but we got it done and we finally got two in a row."
Mehmet Okur had a team-high 23 points and pulled down 11 boards for the Jazz, who have lost two straight and three of their last four.
Matt Harpring, who was expected to sit out to rest his surgically repaired knee, played over 27 minutes and recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
"It's frustrating because we can be good then we just do things," Harpring said. "We don't play as a team. We go one-on-one, we don't pass the ball when the guy's open. We try and do too much."
The Jazz put together a 5-0 run late in the third quarter, capped by a Gordan Giricek jumper with 4:23 remaining in the frame, to cut into Boston's eight- point halftime lead and bring the score to 64-60. They trailed by just five heading into the final stanza.
Utah got to within a basket and kept it close for the majority of the fourth quarter, but was never able to overtake the Celtics.
Okur's layup with 5:36 left on the clock pulled the Jazz to within four. Boston, however, ripped off seven straight points to help seal the game. West went 3-for-4 from the line in the surge, including a pair of free throws with just under four minutes left to cap the deciding run.
The Celtics outscored their opponent 27-16 in the second quarter to erase a three-point Utah lead and assume a 47-39 halftime advantage.
West put the Celtics up 32-25 with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half after he faked a three-pointer, drove the baseline and then banked in a reverse layup. Boston pushed its lead to 10 with 2:21 to play with a pair of Pierce free throws.
Harpring followed with a three-point play and Deron Williams and Okur each drained shots from behind the arc to help trim Utah's deficit to five, but Pierce made a layup and the ensuing free throw with two seconds left to make it an eight-point Boston lead at the break.
Utah's Andrei Kirilenko missed his second straight game with back spasms...This was the first time since March 11, 1999 that Celtics failed to make a three-pointer. They were 0-for-10...Utah shot just 38.6 percent from the floor in the first half...The Jazz, who will close a five-game road trip in New York on Friday, are 6-7 away from home this season...Boston is 9-6 at home this season.
12/21 23:24:47 ET