We're trying something new with our preview. We're basically writing the preview as if we're recapping the game the way we think it will go. The quotes and performances are made up, but the records, and other relevant pre-game stats are accurate. Please let us know what you think in the comments. I am aware this might end up sucking… so please weigh in.
Salt Lake City, Utah – The Boston Celtics improved to 43-15 on the season by beating the new-look Jazz 95-84 at Energy Solutions Arena. Paul Pierce led the way for the Celtics with 24 points. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen each added 18 while Rajon Rondo nearly notched a triple double with 11 points, 16 assists and 7 rebounds in 38 minutes. Rondo's rest was limited due to Delonte West's
"I know I had to step up and carry the load while we got the new guys up to speed," said Pierce. "Jeff [Green] and Nenad [Krstic] both played alright tonight and you could tell that they're getting more comfortable. But carrying a team through adversity is nothing new to me, so I'll continue to do it until we can get back to playing Celtic basketball"
Green and Krstic, acquired in a surprising deadline trade for Kendrick Perkins, made solid contributions for the Celtics. Krstic had 10 points and 7 rebounds while Green added 11 points, including his first three-pointer as a Celtics in addition to 5 rebounds.
"I'm picking things up," said Green. "These guys are really opening up to me and helping me out. I've spent a lot of hours with these guys already just talking and learning. So I'm pretty comfortable already."
The Jazz were led by newly-acquired guard Devin Harris, who scored 21 points but only connected on 8 of 22 attempts. Al Jefferson, who had a forgettable 7 points on 1 of 11 shooting in a January loss in Boston, added 17 points and 9 rebounds for the Jazz.
"Our defense stepped up today," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We did a good job keeping [Paul] Milsap and [Andrei] Kirilenko in check. Those are two guys who could go off and to keep them both under 18 points is phenomenal. You can see it in KG's eyes today that he wanted to end this road trip on the right note."
The Celtics finished 3-1 on the road trip with their only loss coming in Denver just hours after the Perkns trade. Their next game is Wednesday in Boston at 7:30 against the Phoenix Suns.