NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 21st (All times eastern)
Utah Jazz (27-15) at Boston Celtics (32-9), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Boston Celtics look to wrap up a six-game homestand on a winning note when they entertain the Utah Jazz tonight at TD Garden.
Boston has won four in a row on the residency after opening the homestand with a loss to Houston. It recently squeezed out an 86-82 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, as Paul Pierce scored a game-high 22 points and Shaquille O'Neal added 12 and 12 rebounds in a winning cause.
Kevin Garnett had 11 points and six boards, while Glen Davis also netted 11 points off the bench for the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics, who are 20-3 at home this season and have won eight of their last 10 games overall. Boston had a 47-34 edge on the glass.
Celtics sharp-shooter Ray Allen hit a 21-foot jumper with 24.5 seconds remaining in the game. Allen ended with only seven points.
"Ray just makes shots, you know? He's one of those guys, he can go 0-for-10, you know the one guy that believes he's going to make it is Ray," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said post-game.
Allen is approaching Reggie Miller's three-point record for the most made in a career, as the former Indiana Pacers star closed out his tenure with 2,560 three-pointers made. Allen has knocked down 2,526 from beyond the arc.
The Jazz are searching for a win on their five-game trek after dropping the first two portions of the road swing, including Wednesday's 103-95 setback to the New Jersey Nets.
Al Jefferson ended with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Deron Williams posted 20 and 10 assists for Utah, which opened the excursion with a loss at Washington and is 12-8 away from Salt Lake City this season. The back-to-back losses have come on the heels of a three-game winning streak.
"We had a chance to get in the ball game, but you gotta have a perfect finish and we didn't have that," said Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan. "I think we're better than what we played. Give them credit."
Sloan's squad will also visit the Sixers and Lakers on the trip. The Jazz are 20-2 when scoring 100-plus points, but 7-13 when scoring under the century mark.
Utah and Boston are meeting for the first time since splitting a home-and-home series a year ago, with each team prevailing as the host. The Jazz and Celtics have split the last three home-and-home series. Utah has dropped two straight and seven of 10 visits to Beantown.
01/21 10:58:19 ET