Jaylen Brown completes the four-game West Coast sweep with a buzzer-beating three to give the Boston Celtics a, 97-94, win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
With the win, the Celtics have now won five straight and six of their last seven games, along locking up home court through the first round of the 2018 NBA playoffs.
As for the Jazz, they’re now 24-7 over their last 31 games, which includes an 11-game and a nine-game winning streak.
Earlier in the day the word came down that the Celtics would be without sixth-man standout Marcus Morris, after he re-aggravated his sprained right ankle on Monday night against the Phoenix Suns.
And a few hours before tip, the Celtics also announced that Al Horford (left ankle) would be out of the starting lineup. So it was Guerschon Yabusele who would get the starting nod in his place.
It didn’t long for the Celtics to get things going, as they jumped out to a 12-5 lead three minutes in following a 7-0 run. But the Jazz came roaring back with a 19-6 run to close out the first with a 24-18 lead.
The second quarter was full of runs for the Celtics, and by the end of it, you could probably call the entire quarter a run for them.
They’d start off the second with an 8-0 run to tie things up at 28 just four minutes in. And then halfway through the quarter they’d start a 16-2 run that lasted more than four minutes.
After buckling down on defense, some tremendous ball movement and good shot selections, the Celtics would out-score the Jazz 30-15 in the second to take a 48-39 lead into halftime.
During the second the C’s offense got wet from deep, as they shot an impressive 80 percent from three and 75 percent for the first half.
Following a series of defensive woes, turnovers and fouls for the Celtics, the Jazz would regain the lead with 5:35 left to play in the third.
Former Celtic Jae Crowder helped to extend a 15-0 run for the Jazz with a pair of threes to help propel them to a 69-58 lead with just over four minutes to play in the quarter.
The Jazz would out-score the Celtics 32-19 in the third. But thanks to seven points from Semi Ojeleye over the final three minutes of the third, the C’s would only trail, 71-67, heading into the final quarter.
The Celtics kept grinding throughout the fourth and it eventually paid off for them, as they’d close out the game with a 9-0 run over the final two minutes.
But the biggest moment of the game and the final two minutes came with 0.1 seconds left on the clock when Jaylen Brown knocked down a wide-open three from the top of the key after a Shane Larkin pass and Brad Stevens timeout, giving the Celtics a 97-94 win over the Jazz.
With the win, the C’s are now an Eastern Conference best 28-10 on the road this season.
???? JAYLEN BROWN FOR THE WIN!!! ????— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 29, 2018
Brown led all Celtics scorers with 21 points (6-10 FG/ 3-3 3PT), five rebounds and three assists. And Tatum made some Celtics history as he finished with 16 points (6-15 FG), two boards and three assists.
Jayson Tatum is the 6th Celtics rookie since 1963 to produce 60 games of 10+ points (78-Bird, 74-Walker, 70-Cowens, 66-Mercer, 60-Radja)— Celtics Stats (@celtics_stats) March 29, 2018
Both Terry Rozier III and Aron Baynes finished with 13 points each. And a shortened C’s bench would combine for 31 points on 12-of-29 from the field.
Ricky Rubio finished with a 14-point, 10 assist double-double. And his fellow Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert had a 10-point, 11 rebound double-double as well. Rookie of the Year candidate Donovan Mitchell finished the night with 22 points (7-20 FG) and six assists. And Crowder finished with 16 points off the bench on 50 percent shooting from the field.
The Celtics shot 44.3 percent from the field and 57 percent from three (12-21 3PT), with the Jazz shooting 41.5 percent from the field and a lousy 27.3 percent from three (9-33 3PT).
Jaylen says he’s glad his shot went in because he “didn’t have anything left for overtime.” pic.twitter.com/KCgZQgk5t2— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 29, 2018
UP NEXT: The Celtics (52-23) welcome the Toronto Raptors (55-20) to the TD Garden on Saturday night for a game that has huge playoff implications. The Raptors are 14-3 over their last 17, and have won an impressive 11-straight during that same span. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell, live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 7:00 p.m., with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com
John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.