Monday, October 8, 2012

Boston Celtics @ Utah Jazz (Game 10 of 82)

Mo Williams used to play for the Jazz, then he was shipped to a few other teams, much to the regret of the Utah Jazz organization. But now, he's back and nothing could be more apparent to the Boston Celtics.

Mo Williams was unstoppable and scorched the Celtics' defense for 39 points and 10 assists, a monster performance that knocked Boston on its heel with little wherewithal to respond.

The Truth, Paul Pierce, had a poor shooting night along with Hedo Turkoglu and Rip Hamilton. So, when the Jazz started to pull away due to strong showings by Al Jefferson (23 points, 21 rebounds) and Gordon Hayward (14 points), the raucous Utah crowd had to be thinking victory for their team.

The Jazz definitely poured an unexpected onslaught on the defending champions, but Rajon Rondo (18 points, 9 assists), Kevin Garnett (25 points) and unlikely streaky shooter, Eddie House (27 points on 7 three-pointers), fiercely retaliated and ultimately won, 116-114 after a scary final two minutes.

In the closing moments, Kevin Garnett got his 6th foul and was forced to leave the game. Rajon Rondo aggressively drove to the rim, got emphatically blocked by Al Jefferson, but scrambled for the loose ball, elevated, twisted in mid-air, and somehow tossed the ball into the basket, stretching Boston's lead to 4 after a resilient 10-0 run.

But the craziness wasn't complete just yet. A missed 3 by Utah followed, but another by Marvin Williams crashed in from the corner on the next possession. Rajon Rondo was immediately fouled, but missed the 1st of two free throws. At court-side, Marv Albert warily said, "That first missed free throw could prove crucial for the Celtics."

Trailing by only 2 with no timeouts and 2 seconds to spare, Utah's Mo Williams raced up the court, stopped just past the halfcourt line, and let the ball fly. As the ball fell just short, clanging off the front of the rim, the anxiety of the crowd deflated as Boston's gritty comeback was sealed.

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