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Utah at Boston

Celtics use balanced attack to cruise past Jazz

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- The Utah Jazz might have been caught off-guard when Rajon Rondo took the ball coast-to-coast with 3.8 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Boston Celtics weren't: They've timed him.

Rondo took the inbounds pass after a Jazz free throw, letting it bounce a few times so the clock wouldn't start, and raced to the basket for the buzzer-beating layup to help the Celtics pull away and beat Utah 105-86 on Wednesday night.

"It was just our 'Get out of the way' play," said Rondo, who had 14 points and 11 assists. "Rasheed [Wallace] came up and set a great pick and left me one-on-one with a big."

Rondo, who claims to run a 3.9 second 40-yard dash, has always counted speed among his assets at point guard. By being able to dribble 94 feet in 3.1 seconds -- and yes, they've timed him in practice -- means Boston sometimes doesn't have to fire up a desperation shot at the end of a quarter.

So even though coach Doc Rivers put 3-point shooters Ray Allen and Eddie House on the floor, the first option was for Rondo to head straight for the basket.

"Rondo's job is to push it up," Rivers said. "It has to be a straight line, though. That's either a coast-to-coast play or a pullup [jumper] for him."

Rondo's basket gave Boston a 22-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and the Jazz never got closer than 17 points from there. Kevin Garnett scored 18 points, Allen had 15 and Paul Pierce 13, including two 3-pointers at the start of the third that helped put the game out of reach.

Boston has won two in a row since its only loss, to Phoenix on Friday, to match its 8-1 start from its title-winning season two years ago.

One game after winning at Madison Square Garden for the first time in more than five years, the Jazz never led.

"Right now, we're soft," said Deron Williams, a game-time decision because of a bruised left calf and a bad back, who scored 13 points with seven rebounds and four assists. "There's no way around it. We have to toughen up."

Ronnie Brewer added 13 points, and Paul Millsap had nine points and 13 rebounds.

It was 23-23 before Boston scored the last five points of the first quarter and the first basket of the second.

"It wasn't a lot fun to watch," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I wouldn't mind if they rebounded. There aren't any rules against rebounding. ... We settled for jump shots and didn't make them to have to run too far to get layups."

The Celtics led by 10 at halftime, when Kendrick Perkins already had 10 points and seven rebounds, and Utah never made a move after Pierce hit a pair of 3-pointers in the opening 1:24 of the third quarter.

Boston made it 84-62 after three quarters on Rondo's buzzer-beater when he streaked the length of the court with 3.8 seconds left for the layup. With more than five minutes left in the game, the Celtics began playing the "Gino" video they usually break out when the game is in reach.

Notes

  • During a break, the Celtics honored arena usher Bill Lynch, who helped wave down a subway train to stop after a woman fell on the tracks over the weekend.
  • Pierce needs 21 points to tie Bob McAdoo on the career scoring list.
  • Utah has two more games left on its four-game East Coast swing.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins swarm Ronnie Brewer as he goes up for layup. (Getty Images)
Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins swarm Ronnie Brewer as he goes up for layup. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Utah (3-5) 2321182486
Boston (8-1) «28263021105
UTA:D. Williams 13 Pts
UTA:P. Millsap 13 Reb
UTA:E. Maynor 4 Ast
BOS:K. Garnett 18 Pts
BOS:K. Perkins 8 Reb
BOS:R. Rondo 11 Ast
Players of the Game
BostonUtah

R. Rondo

D. Williams
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
141111374

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Utah
R. Brewer, SG366-141-313113
A. Kirilenko, SF356-130-042012
D. Williams, PG335-113-574113
C. Boozer, PF275-70-023410
M. Okur, C253-83-43239
W. Matthews, SG252-60-00014
P. Millsap, PF233-83-413049
E. Maynor, PG153-70-01416
K. Fesenko, C151-22-24044
K. Koufos, C63-30-04016
R. Price, PGDid Not Play
C. Miles, SGDid Not Play
M. Harpring, SFDid Not Play
K. Korver, SFDid Not Play
Totals 37-7912-1839182086
 46.8%66.7% 
Boston
R. Allen, SG326-82-204115
P. Pierce, SG324-72-266213
R. Rondo, PG317-110-0111014
K. Perkins, C264-92-282110
K. Garnett, PF267-104-441318
R. Wallace, PF225-120-011112
M. Daniels, SG213-54-633110
S. Williams, PF202-52-26146
E. House, SG182-70-02135
L. Hudson, SG61-20-00012
J. Giddens, SG40-10-02000
B. Walker, SG20-00-00000
G. Davis, PFDid Not Play
B. Scalabrine, PFDid Not Play
T. Allen, SGDid Not Play
Totals 41-7716-18333017105
 53.2%88.9% 
Other Games
GS 94 Final
Ind 108
Chi 89 Final
Tor 99
Char 75 Final
Det 98
Phi 82 Final
NJ 79
Atl 114 Final
NY 101
Den 102 Final
Mil 108
Port 107 Final
Min 84
Cle 102 Final
Orl 93
Mem 79 Final
Hou 104
Dal 83 Final
SA 92
OKC 83 Final
LAC 79
NO 104 Final
Pho 124