It was a battle of 0-and-4 teams at the TD Garden with the Celtics and Utah Jazz facing off Wednesday night and despite allowing a 22-point lead at the end of three quarters to get down to single digits in the fourth, the Celtics held on for a 97-87 win for their first of the season and the first professional win for head coach Brad Stevens.
The Celtics jumped out to a 50-34 halftime lead and despite their mini-collapse in the fourth quarter, the game was really never in doubt. They had good offensive balance as four players reached double figures with Brandon Bass leading the way with 20 points, followed by Jeff Green with 18. Off the bench rookie Kelly Olynyk had 14 while Jared Sullinger contributed 12. The Jazz were led by Gordon Hayward who finished with a game-high 28 points, but the visitors turned the ball over 22 times in the loss.
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The team will now take to the road for a brief, two-day trip to Florida to take on the Magic Friday night (7:00, CSNNE) and then the Miami Heat on Saturday.
What they'll be saying: It was a good team win for the Celtics in their first win of the season, which is sometimes the hardest win to get, especially with a first-year head coach. Besides his 14 points, Olynyk had a solid game overall finishing with eight rebounds and three assists, giving the Celtics a spark off the bench. Coming off the bench for the first time this season, Gerald Wallace finished with nine points and nine rebounds. 11 players saw game action, including nine playing more than 10 minutes. It wasn't all perfect for the Celtics as they allowed the Jazz back in the game in the final quarter and allowed the visitors to shoot 46 percent for the game, something they will look to improve on in the coming weeks.