The Boston Celtics continued their dominant play at home by blowing out the Utah Jazz 126-97 on Friday night. The win moves the Celtics to 17-0 at TD Garden this season, tying the longest home winning streak to start a season in franchise history.
Celtics’ Defense Sets Tone Early
The Celtics came out focused on the defensive end, limiting the Jazz to just 18 points in the first quarter. Utah shot a frigid 5-23 (21.7%) from the field and committed 5 turnovers which led to easy Boston buckets in transition.
Jaylen Brown set the tone with suffocating defense on Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen. The Celtics All-Star held Markkanen to just 2 first quarter points on 1-5 shooting.
|1st Quarter Stats
|2 points (1-5 FG)
|5 points, 2 reb, 1 stl
Brown had high praise for the team’s defensive effort after the game:
“I think it started on the defensive end. We wanted to set the tone physically and play with an edge.”
Balanced Celtics Offense Cruises to Blowout Victory
While the defense sparked the dominant effort, Boston’s offense was clicking on all cylinders right from the opening tip. Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 30 points on efficient 10-19 shooting. Jaylen Brown (26 points), Derrick White (14 points) and Al Horford (12 points) also scored in double figures.
In all, eight Celtics players finished with at least 7 points as they cruised to the wire-to-wire victory. Head coach Joe Mazzulla was able escape his key starters late in the contest thanks to the large margin. Tatum and Brown played just 28 and 27 minutes respectively.
Boston’s balanced attack and hot shooting led to some eye-opening offensive numbers:
- 126 points – most Utah has given up in a game all season
- 59.3% shooting – highest percentage Utah has allowed this year
- 18 three pointers made – tied for most vs Jazz defense this season
Mazzulla emphasized after the game that it was the team’s unselfishness and trust in one another that allowed the offense to dominate:
“It’s a credit to the guys and how they play together. There is a high level of trust. Guys were making the right plays and the right reads.”
Historic Night Ties Franchise Record
The statement win moved Boston’s record at home to 17-0, tying the franchise record for consecutive wins to open a season at TD Garden. The 2008-2009 Celtics team featuring the ‘Big 3’ of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett previously set the record.
Despite blowing away another opponent on their home floor, Mazzulla doesn’t believe the current streak has really set in yet with his team.
“I don’t think we’re really focused on the streak. We’re just focused on playing well at home. And just continuing to build good habits.”
If Boston can notch home victory #18 on Sunday against the Mavericks, they will hold the outright franchise record at 18-0.
|Consecutive Home Wins to Start Season
What This Means Going Forward
For the Celtics – Friday’s demolition of the Jazz caps off a dominant 6 game stretch at home in which Boston has won by an average of 17 points per game. After dropping two straight on the road before returning home, the Celtics have emphatically righted the ship. With upcoming home games against Luka Doncic and the Mavericks (Sunday) followed by Zion Williamson and the Pelicans (Wednesday), Boston has a chance to extend their franchise record streak in the next week.
For the Jazz – Utah is in the midst of a daunting stretch of 8 straight games against 2021-2022 playoff teams. After being thoroughly outclassed by Boston, the Jazz face Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks Saturday night in Milwaukee. The schedule won’t get any easier after that with games against the Nuggets, Suns and Grizzlies on deck. If they can’t turn things around quickly, it could be a long couple of weeks for Utah.
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