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Monday, February 25, 2013

Whenever You Are Ready To Count The Celtics Out, They Reel You Back In With Crazy Wins


Playing their fifth game in seven nights on the West Coast, the Celtics had every excuse to pack it in and slink back to Boston as dejected losers. Instead, they chose to fight through their fatigue and pull out a pulsating 110-107 overtime win at Utah's (31-26, 21-7 home) EnergySolutions Arena.

The Celts (30-27, 10-18 away) finished 2-3 on this tough road trip and after the game, no less than head coach Doc Rivers called it their "best win of the season."

Paul Pierce (26 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds) missed his patented elbow jumper at the end of regulation but he made up for it by tearing it up in overtime. The other four Celtics starters were all in double-figures as well: Kevin Garnett (13 points, 10 rebounds), Brandon Bass (15 points, 2 blocks), Avery Bradley (season-high 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) and Courtney Lee (14 points, 5 rebounds) all earned the next two days off-Boston doesn't play again until Friday. Jason Terry added 14 points off the bench.

Gordon Heyward led the Jazz with 26 points off the bench. Former Celtic Al Jefferson had a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds) while Paul Millsap filled up the stat sheet (16 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks) and Marvin Williams scored 15 points.

Boston led 28-26 after the first quarter but Utah wrestled it away for a 53-48 halftime advantage. The Celtics played an incredible third quarter (32-19) but predictably, they ran out of oxygen in the fourth quarter as the Jazz outscored them 25-17.

The C's shot 3.4% better from the field (47.7%-44.3%), hit two more 3-pointers (10-8), had two more steals (8-6) and scored six more points off turnovers (21-15).

The Celtics' only game in the next week is on Friday (7:30 p.m., CSN) at TD Garden against Golden State (33-23, 2nd in Pacific Division). It's a weird stretch as the Green and White play one home game then two on the road, another home game then back on the road for two more. Until Thursday, they can kick their feet up and enjoy tonight's excellent victory which thankfully overshadowed what had been a rough week.







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