Celtics

Jazz hum along in handing the Celtics a second loss this month

Jazz hum along in handing the Celtics a second loss this month

BOSTON – About the only thing the Boston Celtics can take away as a clear positive from Saturday’s 98-86 loss to the Utah Jazz is they won’t have to see them again in the regular season until next season.

For the second time this month, the Utah Jazz were able to handily defeat the Boston Celtics and sweep the regular season series 2-0.

Boston (9-7) pulled out a thrilling overtime win over Toronto on Friday night, but the Celtics’ play on Saturday looked as though that win took more out of them than they could muster up to face a Utah team that was also on the back end of a back-to-back set of games.

Making matters worse for Boston was Kyrie Irving picking up his fifth personal foul with 5:12 to play in the third quarter.

Irving didn’t return until the start of the fourth quarter and by that time, the Jazz lead had ballooned to 15 points.

Irving’s return didn’t make much of a dent on the scoreboard for Boston which continued to play uphill as Utah managed to maintain its double-digit lead.

Utah managed to generate offense in a multitude of ways, among their favorites being the lob dunk to an assortment of bigs who far too often, seemed wide open.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Saturday’s loss.

STARS

Donovan Mitchell: One of the rising stars in the NBA, Donovan Mitchell was a problem for the Celtics all game. He finished with a game-high 28 points on 10-for-20 shooting with six assists.

Kyrie Irving: It wasn’t exactly a 43-point, 11-assist performance we saw the night before, but Irving was still putting up big numbers in an efficient manner. Despite some second half foul trouble (he picked up his fifth personal foul with 5:12 to play in the third quarter), Irving would lead the Celtics with 20 points on 8-for-16 shooting from the field to go with eight rebounds.

STUDS

Ricky Rubio: It was solid night for Ricky Rubio who tallied 20 points on 6-for-13 shooting to go with four rebounds and two assists.

Rudy Gobert: You expect him to shoot a high percentage with most of his points coming via a lob or a dunk. But on Saturday, Gobert had his free throw game going too. He finished with 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the field while making four of his six free throw attempts in addition to grabbing nine rebounds.

DUDS

Celtics bench: Usually an active group, they were a collective dud on Saturday night. There was more to it than the fact that they only scored a total of 37 points, although a good chunk of that came when the game’s outcome was all but decided with the points having little to no impact beyond padding individual player’s stats.

Boston’s free throws: The Celtics shot just 60 percent (11-for-20) from the line which included some of their most reliable free throw shooters were delivering one miss after another. Boston came into the game 10th in the NBA in free throw percentage (.787). And like Boston’s bench points, many of the made free throws came when the game was out of reach.

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Celtics At Home: Daniel Theis recalls experience playing games without fans

Celtics At Home: Daniel Theis recalls experience playing games without fans

The Boston Celtics hosting a playoff game in an empty arena would be a bizarre experience.

Take it from the guy who's played in front of empty arenas.

Celtics big man Daniel Theis played several years of professional basketball in his native Germany before joining the C's in 2017. On the latest episode of NBC Sports Boston's "Celtics At Home," Theis explained that preseason games often didn't have fans, which created an atmosphere he didn't exactly enjoy.

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"It's definitely weird just thinking about it," Theis told host Brian Scalabrine. "Thinking back for me, playing in Germany in preseason games when you have scrimmages and no fans in there. You hear every voice, every word, every step. It's annoying."

Games without fans could be the NBA's new reality as it aims to safely resume play amid the coronavirus pandemic. Germany's top soccer league, the Bundesliga -- which Theis has been following intently -- is already playing games in empty arenas.

But while Theis wants to get back on the court, he doesn't sound thrilled about playing games without fans again -- especially if that means losing the home-crowd advantage that Boston provides.

"When I watched the soccer games this weekend, it was just -- it didn't feel right," Theis said. "Especially in Boston, when it comes to the playoffs and the fans at TD Garden are so important and so loud ... Then I can imagine now just playing a playoff game with nobody in there, it feels probably like a practice game or scrimmage."

Theis also discussed some of the Celtics' best Zoom guest speakers during Episode Three of "Celtics At Home," which includes guest appearances from C's legends Tommy Heinsohn and Bill Walton.

Check out the full episode of "Celtics At Home" below or on our YouTube page:

 

This Date In Celtics History: Paul Pierce sends Magic packing in East Finals

This Date In Celtics History: Paul Pierce sends Magic packing in East Finals

The Boston Celtics had no intention of returning to Orlando for Game 7 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals.

On this date exactly 10 years ago, Paul Pierce made sure of that.

"The Truth" was an absolute force against the Magic in Game 6 of the East Finals on May 28, 2010, scoring 31 points on 9-of-15 shooting while adding 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals.

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The result: A 96-84 Celtics win at TD Garden that eliminated Orlando and punched Boston's ticket to the 2010 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Celtics only have one other victory on this date (they're 2-3 on May 28) but it also came during the Big Three era:

May 28, 2008: Kevin Garnett (33 points) and Ray Allen (29 points) carry the load as Boston edges the Detroit Pistons 106-102 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The C's finish the Pistons off in Game 6 to advance to the Finals.

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