By MyFM's Jake Archer - The Boston Celtics had another clutch moment this season, as Jaylen Brown banged home a three-pointer with 0.1 seconds left to give the team a 97-94 win over the Utah Jazz. It was the fifth go-ahead field goal in the final five seconds of a game that Boston has converted this season. That total leads the NBA. More importantly, the win swept the four-game west coast trip and the C's continued to roll without their stars in the lineup.
Last night the Celtics would be without another All Star, Al Horford, as he sat out with an ankle injury. Marcus Morris was also still out of the lineup with an ankle issue of his own. The team only had nine players get minutes in the win and Guerschon Yabusele cracked the starting lineup in place of Big Al. Every starter besides Yabu was in double figures for Boston and point guard Shane Larkin added 10 off of the bench. The Jazz had rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell leading all scorers with 22. They also saw double digit point totals come from Rudy Gobert, Ricky Rubio, Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder.
The game would have been Gordon Hayward's return to Utah had he not been injured earlier this year. Instead, a matchup between two top teams had to serve as the storyline. The Jazz went on a few runs in the first quarter in part due to the fact that Boston went cold on offense. Utah took a 24-18 lead to the second before the teams switched fortunes. The Celtics picked up the slack on offense and shut down the Jazz to take a 48-39 advantage into the break.
The Jazz bounced back again in the third, forcing turnovers and cashing in on the other end. They were able to be physical and put pressure on the Celtics, which led to mistakes and a Utah lead. Finally in the fourth, Boston pulled back on the rope to get back into it and make sure the back-and-forth ended up in their favor. After Jae Crowder put his team up 94-88 with a layup, Boston didn't allow another point. They charged back and tied the game at 94 with just over a minute left on a dunk by Jayson Tatum. Finally, with the closing seconds ticking down Jaylen Brown took the straightaway three for the win. He later said how glad he was that it went in because he didn't have much more to give had the game gone to overtime.
Boston found another way to win and kept on plugging to improve to 52-23. The Jazz didn't score for the final two and half minutes of the game and thus lost for the third time in five games. They are now 42-33 which is good for the eight seed in the stacked Western Conference. The win for Boston split the season series after the Jazz had beaten them pretty good earlier this year.
This was the fourteenth double-digit comeback for Boston this season, which is tied for second-most in the NBA. They never seem to give up and even though they were taken out of their comfort zone and played sloppy at times, they took advantage of moments when they could and grabbed the victory. They will host the first-place Raptors on Saturday at TD Garden. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm.