Stevens earns first win as Celtics down Jazz
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Brad Stevens' first NBA win came at the expense of his first protege at Butler.
Brandon Bass and Jeff Green had 20 and 18 points, respectively, and the Boston Celtics avoided their worst start in 67 years following a 97-87 triumph over the Utah Jazz in a battle between winless teams.
Stevens and Gordon Hayward, who was the first recruit to visit Butler when Stevens succeeded Todd Lickliter in 2007, hadn't been on the same court since the Bulldogs lost the national championship game to Duke when Hayward's half-court attempt clanked off the iron as time expired.
"He's a lot better than when I coached him. And he was pretty good when I coached him," Stevens said.
Hayward tallied 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists in defeat.
Coming into Wednesday, the Jazz and Celtics were two of four NBA teams without a victory. The Washington Wizards defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, while the Denver Nuggets will resume play Thursday at home against the Atlanta Hawks.
Kelly Olynyk added 14 points off the bench for Boston, which hadn't started 0-5 since the 1946-47 campaign.
Enes Kanter had 22 points and eight boards, while Derrick Favors added 10 points and 14 boards for Utah, which is off to its worst start since the 1974-75 New Orleans Jazz dropped their first 11 contests.
The Jazz raced out to a 14-3 start after hitting eight of their first 10 shots, but the Celtics outscored them 47-20 for the remainder of the half.
After cutting the deficit to 26-23 after a quarter of play, Boston ended the opening 24 minutes on a 14-2 run where Utah didn't tally a point for a stretch of 5:24.
Avery Bradley had six points during the surge, which was capped on a Jared Sullinger jumper at the first-half buzzer.
"Eight points in the second quarter," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "That's where we lost the game."
Boston's margin swelled to as many as 25 in the third before it took an 84-62 spread into the fourth, where 11 straight Jazz points pulled them within 87-79 midway through the frame.
It was 89-83 after Kanter's offensive rebound and putback a few minutes later, but back-to-back buckets by Bass and Sullinger made it a double-digit advantage again and Utah never got within less than eight the rest of the way.
Sullinger had 12 points and five rebounds ... Utah was 1-of-10 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 22 times ... Richard Jefferson had 13 points and five steals for the Jazz.
11/06 23:37:24 ET