Rapid Recap is designed for the busiest of Celtics fans. Whether you can’t stay awake to read 10 paragraphs or your hangover is just too much, Rapid Recap tells the timeline of the game in only a minute or two.
It’s hard to win when you shoot just 37.2%, and even worse (27.8%) on threes. And that’s why the Celtics lost at home – their third straight L on the parquet – to the Utah Jazz, 99-94, a game that wasn’t as close as the final score.
Birthday boy Marcus Smart led all scorers with 29, but made just 9-of-23 shots (and 6-of-15 from the arc). Jayson Tatum came back to earth, scoring just 18 on 7-of-19 shooting, ending his five-game streak of 32 points or more. And Kemba Walker was not himself, making just 5-of-17 for 13 points. Daniel Theis was one of the few bright spots, with 12 points, 9 rebounds, and solid defense.
To their credit, the starters were all in the positive for plus-minus, but the bench was brutal and deeply into the minus side.
Utah was led by Mike Conley, who killed the Cs all night and finished with 29 points (9-of-16, with 6 threes), and Jordan Clarkson’s 17 points (more than the entire Boston bench). Joe Ingles was steady with a team-high 6 assists.
Surely you’re not surprised that Boston was shorthanded.
Smart made his first 3 threes in the first quarter.
Daniel Theis made an early impact.
The Celtics built a 27-16 lead…
… until the Jazz closed the quarter with a 14-2 run, during which Enes Kanter smoked two bunnies. We didn’t know it then, but the Celts would never lead again.
A 10-2 Utah run gave them a 51-39 lead after 5 minutes of the second quarter. And it got worse, as the Jazz shot 23-of-39 (59%) for the half, including 13-of-22 (59.1%) from the arc.
The bad news continued in the third quarter.
Utah was up 16 when the Celtics went to a zone defense that helped them to an 11-0 run, cutting the lead to 65-60.
Tatum wasn’t shooting well, but he did this.
Jazz rebuilt their lead to 11.
Brad Stevens won a challenge (although the Jazz scored anyway after winning a jump ball).
After the 3rd, nothing had changed from halftime.
Bad, bad night for Plumber Brad.
And the shooting, or lack thereof…
Down 87-78, the Celtics got several consecutive stops on defense, which was a trend.
But Smart and Grant Williams missed wide open threes on consecutive possessions, squandering chances to put pressure on Utah. Then Conley drained a three to push the lead back to 12 with 5 minutes left.
Boston got it down to 7 at 96-89, but on two straight possessions Wanamaker ended up missing threes – badly, one of them an airball. Those were the final nails. Utah scored only 37 in the second half and still were never in danger.