Pierce saves the day for Celtics

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 14, 2012
Paul Pierce hit two free throws with 19.5 seconds left and finished with 23 points, lifting the Boston Celtics to a 98-93 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. Jeff Green and Leandro Barbosa each scored 16 points for the Celtics, who won for the fifth time in six games. Kevin Garnett added 11 points and eight rebounds. Boston's Rajon Rondo had 10 assists before leaving the game for good in the third quarter with a right ankle injury. It was his 32nd straight game with 10 or more assists. He was on the bench for the final quarter. Paul Millsap led the Jazz with 20 points and 12 boards. Al Jefferson had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Mo Williams missed three shots in the closing minute for Utah, which fell to 1-5 on the road. The Jazz won a triple-overtime game in Toronto on Monday. The Celtics grabbed a 94-93 edge when Garnett hit the second of two free throws with 1:08 left. After Williams missed a long jumper and Gordon Hayward the follow on an attempted put-back, Garnett missed a jumper and Jefferson grabbed the rebound. The Jazz called timeout with 33 seconds remaining and Williams missed on a left-handed scoop shot with 22 seconds to go. The Jazz fouled Pierce and he nailed both free throws, making it 96-93. Millsap then missed a drive, but Boston's Green was called for traveling after grabbing the rebound, giving the Jazz one last shot. Williams missed another long jumper. Garnett sealed it with two free throws. Boston led 93-88 after Green's three-point play with 3:40 left, but Jefferson scored the next five points, tying it on a jumper from the right wing with 1:21 to play. Garnett's no-look, behind-the-back pass set up Barbosa for an easy layup midway into the final quarter, giving Boston an 80-74 lead. The teams then traded baskets before Green drove the lane for a dunk over Al Jefferson, bringing most of the crowd to its feet. He was given a technical, though, for taunting him on the play. But despite the highlight baskets, the Jazz stayed close, narrowing it to 88-86 on Jefferson's layup with 4 1/2 minutes to play. Rondo came up limping on a drive to the basket with 4:55 in the third, left the game and headed to the locker room about a minute later. He returned to the bench to loud cheers from the crowd with under a minute left in the third. The Celtics announced that he ''rolled'' his right ankle. Pierce missed 10 of his initial 13 shots before hitting three straight 3s in a 1:17 span midway into the third quarter, with Rondo getting assists eight, nine and 10 on the baskets. Pierce scored 15 in the quarter on 5-of-9 shooting and Hayward scored 10 for Utah. After Pierce's long-range shooting exhibit, Barbosa drove to the basket and scored six of the points in Boston's 8-0 run that gave the Celtics a 68-60 edge. The Jazz then scored 10 of the final 15 points in the quarter, closing it to 73-70 at the break. NOTES: Utah G Earl Watson, close to completing a six-month comeback from knee surgery, rejoined the team, but wasn't in uniform. ''We'll see how he goes and how his body responds,'' coach Tyrone Corbin said. ''We're going to increase his activity a little bit and see how he responds to it.'' ... Jefferson, part of a deal that brought Garnett to the Celtics from Minnesota on July 31, 2003, received lofty pregame praise from Boston coach Doc Rivers. ''He just keeps getting better and better,'' Rivers said. ''The one thing I never thought I'd say about Al is: he's just becoming a better passer.'' ... The Celtics' next home game is a rare Saturday afternoon home contest against Toronto at 12:30. They face Brooklyn first, though, on Thursday. ... The Jazz play the third of a four-game road trip Friday at Philadelphia. ... Jefferson received a nice ovation in pregame introductions.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cavs discussed three-team deal that would net them Melo

Celtics reportedly discussing Kevin Love trade

New York Giants to pursue Matt Forte?

Joe Mauer to try wearing sunglasses to improve pitch tracking

Charles Woodson joining ESPN's 'Sunday NFL Countdown' team

A’s land Khris Davis from Brewers for prospects

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Family of deceased Kyle Field construction worker awarded $53 million by jury

Chris Bosh to miss All-Star Game with calf injury, Al Horford to replace

NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports bringing sports betting in to the light

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

Why the Virginia Cavaliers are a National Championship contender

Cardiff City owner tells team to shoot more, because ugly men can marry beautiful women

Report: American Pharoah will make $35 million as stud in 2016

City hosts Tottenham in Valentine’s Day clash

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker