Paul Pierce scored all 24 of his points in the second half as the Celtics came back from a 56-49 half time deficit to pull out a win. It was a good game with both teams going up by 8 at one point only to have the other team come back to tie or go ahead. It was defense at the end that pulled out the win as Tony made 3 big steals in a row and the Celtics swarmed on defense to cause some costly turnovers and misses for the Jazz.
The Jazz started out red hot as they shot 70% in the first quarter and 67% for the first half. In a very unCeltic-like defense, they shot 55% for the game while the Celtics shot 46%. But, the Celtics clamped down at the end to pull out the win.
Pierce shot 0-6 and was scoreless in the first half but the team went to him right away to start the third and he responded. He drove to the basket time after time and drew the fouls, making 10-11 free throws. He also starred on the defensive end with a huge block and rebound at the end of the game to preserve the win. He finished with 24 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. RA showed his shooting touch with 9-15 shooting for 23 points to go with 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
Rondo had a scare in the first quarter as he limped off the court. Fortunately it was just a leg cramp and he returned in the second quarter. He finished with 7 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals. Eddie House did a good job filling in for Rondo as he sat with the leg cramp and then foul trouble as he scored 9 points to go with 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 1 steal.
KG had a fairly quiet game for him with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Perk once again had a solid game with 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 1 assist. Big Baby played 9 minutes and gave the team some energy as he scored 3 points and pulled down 5 rebounds. Posey scored 2 points to go with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal and played very good defense down the stretch. Tony won the Tommy Award for making 3 steals in a row to turn the tide in the 4th quarter as he finished with 10 points and 3 steals. Scal played only 22 seconds to end the first half and Powe and Pollard did not play.
The Celtics showed composure in this one after trailing much of the game. For the second game in a row they allowed the opposing team to shoot a better percentage from the field but they pulled out a win. The big difference in this game was the 41-30 advantage in rebounds for the Celtics. They also hit 7 more free throws than the Jazz. The Celtics are now 3-0 on their first west coast swing but the biggest challenge comes tomorrow night. Let's just hope that they have enough left to pull that one out.