Jazz earn 110-98 win over Celtics
SALT LAKE CITY -- Alec Burks scored 21 points, Derrick Favors had 20 in his return from a hip injury and the Utah Jazz beat the Boston Celtics 110-98 on Monday night.
Marvin Williams added 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting to help the Jazz break a three-game losing streak and end a six-game skid to the Celtics.
Favors, who missed the previous three games with a sprain he re-aggravated in the opening moments against Philadelphia on Feb. 12, established himself early with four baskets and bolstered Utah's leaky defense in the middle.
Jeff Green and Kelly Olynyk each had 21 points for Boston, which dropped all four games on its road trip and extended its losing streak to five games.
The Jazz shot 55 percent and led by as many 18 points as six players scored in double figures and featured quick ball movement against the weary Celtics.
The Jazz are 0-9 when Favors is out with injury and the center's presence forced the Celtics outside the lane. Favors had three blocked shots and Jeremy Evans had a career-high four but the Celtics made 20 of 21 free throws to stay in the game.
Despite a strong game from Rajon Rondo, who had 18 points and 10 assists, the Celtics dropped to 4-22 against teams from the Western Conference and 0-13 on the road. Boston has dropped 18 consecutive road games versus Western Conference opponents since a 110-107 overtime win over Utah last Feb. 25.
Burks, who had averaged nearly 17 points in a reserve role in the last games was instant offense for the Jazz, who finally shook the Celtics' mastery over Utah. No current member of the Jazz roster was on the team was on the team when Utah last defeated Boston, 110-97 on March 10, 2010.
The Celtics, who shot less than 40 percent on the road trip, missed regular starters Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley as the Boston offense broke down early and often. Sullinger is following the league's protocol after suffering a mild concussion Friday, while Bradley has missed 12 of 15 games with an ankle injury.
Rondo passed to Kris Humphries for a jumper and then made one of his own to pull the Celtics to 59-50 to begin the second half. But Williams and Richard Jefferson countered with baskets and the Celtics couldn't again trim the lead to single digits until Jerryd Bayless made a layup to make it 103-94 with 3:18 to play.
The Jazz clinched the game with a three-point play by Favors and Williams' fast-break layup with 1:08 to play.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.