NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, February 24th (All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (19-38) at Utah Jazz (19-36), 9 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Celtics hope their recent success against the Utah Jazz plays in their favor Monday in Salt Lake City.
Boston has lost the first three portions of its four-game western trip, four straight overall and five of the past six games. However, the Celtics have prevailed in five straight, seven of eight and nine of the last 12 meetings with the Jazz.
The Celtics are also 6-3 in the previous nine visits to Utah, where it has won the last two encounters and hasn't lost since March 22, 2010.
In a 105-98 setback at Sacramento on Saturday, the Celtics were led by Jeff Green's 29 points and 19 from Kris Humphries. Jerryd Bayless and Brandon Bass scored 16 and 12 points, respectively, in the loss. The Celtics erased an 11- point hole to tie the score at 85-85 midway through the fourth quarter, but the Kings made it 90-85 and never looked back.
"It was a long game, a lot of possessions and a lot of things happened," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "We still had a chance to win."
Boston never held a lead against the Kings and played without Rajon Rondo (rest), Jared Sullinger (mild concussion) and Avery Bradley (ankle.) Rondo is questionable and Sullinger is doubtful Monday.
"We were just playing hard, missing some guys and playing back-to-back," Humphries said of playing shorthanded. "We just got to play. Unfortunately, we didn't get the win."
The Celtics are 8-21 on the road and will start a five-game homestand Wednesday versus Atlanta, Indiana, Golden State. Brooklyn and Detroit.
Utah will resume a three-game homestand Monday and opened the stay with Saturday's 121-104 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Wolves All-Star Kevin Love victimized the Jazz with the first triple-double of his career by posting 37 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
"They are one of the better teams in the league on smart transition basketball. We talked about it. We just didn't execute it very well," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We were still looking a few times. You know they run on makes and misses. Kevin Love is tremendous at getting the ball out quick and throwing the advance pass."
The Jazz countered with 25 points from Enes Kanter, while Trey Burke scored 16 points and Alec Burkes added 15. Richard Jefferson rounded out the double- digits scorers for the Jazz with 14 points.
Utah, losers in three straight and seven of 10 games, is 12-16 in Salt Lake City and will close the homestand Wednesday versus the Phoenix Suns.
Jazz forward Derrick Favors (hip) has missed the last three games and is listed as questionable versus Boston. Favors is posting an average of 12.9 points and 9.0 rebounds this season.
02/24 12:32:16 ET