SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 28 factors and Walker Kessler had a game-saving block to assist the Utah Jazz to a 118-117 comeback win over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night time.
Grant Williams, who had 23 factors and a career-high seven 3-pointers, was driving for a possible game-winner however bumped into Kessler, who blocked his shot simply earlier than the ultimate buzzer.
You are reading: Markkanen’s scoring, Kessler’s block lifts Jazz past Celtics
“I figured he was going to shot faux so I stayed down and tried to time it as finest as I might and I obtained a hand on it,” Kessler mentioned about his rejection on the rim.
The play was designed to go to Jayson Tatum on a dribble handoff, however Williams had 12 factors within the fourth quarter and took it to the ring.
“I’m not pissed off at Grant. If he made it, all people could be glad. It’s not why we misplaced, that final play,” Tatum mentioned.
Talen Horton-Tucker had 19 factors and Ochai Agbaji added 16 for the Jazz, who overcame a 19-point deficit to win and keep within the thick of the Western Convention playoff race.
“We wish to make the playoffs,” mentioned Markkanen of his group that was universally picked close to the underside of the league earlier than the season started. “That playoff depth will simply assist this younger group develop.”
Jaylen Brown scored 25 factors, Malcolm Brogdon had 16 and Tatum completed with 15, however was shut out within the second half because the short-handed Celtics had been taking part in their third sport in 4 nights.
“Our physicality waned,” Williams mentioned. “They began taking part in extra aggressive and … we began taking part in just a little extra passively.”
The Jazz performed a hybrid zone protection at occasions and doubled Tatum each time they might on the perimeter. That left different Celtics vast open, particularly within the corners because the Jazz scrambled to maintain up.
The Celtics (49-23) made 22 3-pointers, one off their season excessive, however missed sufficient down the stretch for the Jazz to tug off the win.
“Our defensive depth picked up and our communication obtained higher,” Utah coach Will Hardy mentioned.
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After Brown’s 3-pointer gave the Celtics a 117-113 lead with 1:19 to play, Markkanen made a 3-pointer and Horton-Tucker drove for a layup whereas Tatum missed two jumpers.
However the Jazz allowed the Celtics one final likelihood when Horton-Tucker dribbled for 20 seconds after which misplaced the ball out of bounds.
Kessler, who had 12 factors and 14 rebounds, saved Utah’s comeback effort with the defensive play of the sport and his third blocked shot.
Kelly Olynyk had 13 factors, 13 rebounds and 6 assists for the Jazz (34-36), who’ve received three of 4.
The Jazz hadn’t performed a house sport since Feb. 28 and had been coming off 5 days of relaxation after a six-game journey.
In the meantime, the injury-riddled Celtics had been in search of somebody to attain, and the Jazz had been daring someone apart from Tatum to beat them.
“I used to be simply taking part in the sport the correct approach. They had been attempting to get the ball out of my fingers,” Tatum mentioned.
Williams practically pulled it off, however was one shot brief.
Common Boston starters Marcus Sensible (hip) and Al Horford (again) missed the sport. Happily, Brogdon (Achilles) made his return.
The Jazz weren’t at full energy both, with Jordan Clarkson (thumb) and Collin Sexton (hamstring) on the injured listing.
Regardless of Tatum going scoreless within the third quarter, Brogdon hit a 3 and fed Luke Kornet for a dunk to energy a 16-3 Boston run and make it 91-85 with 39 seconds left within the third.
The Celtics led 64-57 on the half on the energy of 13 3-pointers and Tatum’s three free throws after being fouled with 0.4 seconds left within the second quarter.
THE DO-FLY ZONE
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Olynyk and Markkanen requested Hardy to revisit the zone the Jazz had tried with out a lot success earlier within the season.
It regarded like a 1-3-1 zone at occasions with switching and doubling, particularly when Tatum or Brown had the ball. As soon as the Jazz went down 19, Hardy didn’t really feel like he had a lot to lose.
“He’s tremendous open-minded. He’s an outside-the-box thinker and loves that type of stuff and all of the completely different alternatives and prospects,” Olynyk mentioned.
Markkannen lobbied for it due to the group’s youth and athleticism with Kessler because the anchor.
“It’s chaos,” Markkanen mentioned. “Simply flying round, actually attempting to mess up their rhythm and make them hesitate on their choice making.”
TIP-INS Celtics: Robert Williams III (hamstring) missed his eighth sport in a row, whereas Payton Pritchard (heel) has been held out of six straight. … Brown was referred to as for a Flagrant Penalty 1 on Walker Kessler’s drive with 1:43 to play, however Kessler missed each free throws. … The Celtics dedicated six turnovers.
Jazz: Outscored Boston within the paint, 48-30. … Kelly Olynyk obtained a technical when he was on the bench within the first quarter. … The Jazz outrebounded the Celtic 56-40 and had 20 second-chance factors.
Celtics: At Sacramento on Tuesday to complete their season-high six-game street journey.
Jazz: Host Sacramento on Monday.
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