BOSTON — A Jazz rally to recover from a too-long slow start came up short Wednesday night in Boston. Utah (27-24) was led by Gordon Hayward with 19 points, while the Celtics (28-22) were bolstered by Kevin Garnett's 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Guards: Devin Harris was bad and C.J. Miles was worse. Harris shot 2-of-6 from the field and committed four turnovers, while Miles shot 1-of-10. Harris hadn't committed four or more turnovers since Feb. 20, a home loss to San Antonio. Meanwhile, the Jazz backcourt allowed Boston's Rajon Rondo to distribute 14 assists. Earl Watson has been a more significant factor in the past, going scoreless with three assists in 14 minutes. GRADE: D
Forwards: Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap combined for 35 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, though Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass combined for 39 for the Celtics. However, the Celtic duo collectively shot 13-of-33. Millsap has scored in double figures for 16 straight games. GRADE: B
Centers: Al Jefferson's 18 points came on 7-of-19 shooting from the floor, though he ought to be credited for not backing down when Boston star Kevin Garnett gave him a cheap shot late in the game. Garnett's monster game (23 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 10 rebounds) showed Jefferson that he still has some things to learn from his elders. Jefferson grabbed more than a dozen rebounds for the fourth time in nine games. GRADE: C+Comment on this story
Bench: Utah's bench out-scored Boston's 21-17, but neither set of reserves were all that great. Derrick Favors and Alec Burks, the two bench players to play the most Wednesday, combined to shoot 5-of-16. Enes Kanter shot a perfect 3-of-3 in 12 minutes, making the Turk 12-of-16 in his last seven contests. GRADE: C-
Overall: Considering the Jazz's strong play against New Jersey on Monday, one might have thought that Utah would have wanted to stay in Boston after shooting just 39 percent from the field and 15-of-24 from the charity stripe. The Jazz just displayed too much sluggishness for too long. GRADE: C-
Rhett Wilkinson is majoring in communications and political science at Utah State University. He has previously been an intern for the Deseret News. He can be reached at email@example.com or at Twitter: @wilklogan