Jazz keep on rolling, get 36 from Donovan Mitchell in win against Celtics
SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell had 36 points and nine assists to lead the Utah Jazz to their fifth straight victory, 122-108 over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.
Joe Ingles scored a season-high 24 points and added six assists for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert chipped in 18 points and 12 rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Utah (20-5) has won 16 of its last 17 games and keeps seeking ways to improve.
“It’s a group that isn’t concerned with our record, our win streak,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “We want to win, but the focus is squarely on getting better.”
Jaylen Brown scored 33 points and Jayson Tatum added 23 for Boston. The Celtics (12-11) lost for the third time in four games.
After trailing by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, the Celtics cut it to 108-104 on free throws from Brown and Tristan Thompson. The Jazz slammed the door on a comeback by scoring on six straight possessions.
Ingles and Mitchell combined for three 3-pointers to start the run and Gobert finished it with back-to-back dunks, giving Utah a 122-108 lead in the final minute.
“They got the best record in the league and it showed,” Brown said. “The way they play with the freedom. The kind of the flow they have to their team is really good right now.”
Mitchell scored or recorded an assist on each of the final seven Jazz baskets, showing his progression as a decision-maker in crunch time.
“He’s really able to understand the tempo of the game and is able to find his teammates,” Gobert said. “He’s improved every single year. But this year it feels like, especially these last few weeks, he’s been at his best.”
Over the last five games, Mitchell has averaged 28.6 points and 6.2 assists. He credits the trust teammates and coaches have placed in him.
“I’m always going to be confident in my abilities and what I can do,” Mitchell said. “But the trust factor allows me to be in that position.”
The Celtics made their first five baskets from long distance - starting with three consecutive 3-pointers from Brown - and shot 7 of 13 overall from 3-point range during the first quarter in taking a 27-19 lead.
Utah clamped down defensively in the second quarter, holding the Celtics without a point over a four-minute stretch early in the period. The Jazz also settled into a consistent rhythm on offense as the quarter progressed.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Royce O’Neale and Mitchell triggered a 14-4 run that put Utah ahead 44-38. The Jazz scored on five of six possessions during the run, culminating in a dunk from Bogdanovic.
“You can’t make mistakes against these guys,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “They’re exceptionally well oiled on offense, just a special team to compete against. When you make a mistake, they make you pay.”
Mitchell dominated during a third quarter where the Jazz totaled 42 points. He scored three baskets and assisted on two others while fueling a 17-4 run that extended Utah’s lead to 70-58 midway through the quarter. Mitchell ended up with 14 points in the quarter after scoring 12 in the first half.