G11 Utah Jazz @ Boston Celtics 106-115
CELTICS OUTLAST JAZZ IN OT
For all his considerable talent, Adrian Dantley is a reminder that no one- man gang can dominate for too long against the NBA's best.
It was no coincidence that he was was a shutout victim in overtime and the Celtics were winners over the Utah Jazz in overtime, 115-106, at Boston Garden last night before a sellout crowd of 14,890. The game was tied after regulation, 100-100.
Dantley practically carried the Jazz on his back in the fourth period, scoring 14 of his 32 points to highlight a Utah rally. The Celtics had led by nine points at halftime, but only one after three quarters, 77-76, and struggled for the next 12 minutes. Larry Bird, who had 27 points, and Dennis Johnson who had 22, kept Boston from falling apart.
But it was a different story in overtime as Robert Parish scored the first six points for Boston, four on free throws, and the Celtics took a 106-102 lead. Dantley could barely get his hands on the ball, thanks to the tight guarding of Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge. He missed a big shot with 1:34 left and his team trailing by four points. Utah never recovered and suffered its seventh loss of the year, the fifth on the road.
For the second time in the last three games, the Celtics were confronted by a giant center, this time 7-foot-4-inch Mark Eaton. Last Friday, they faced Washington's 7-7 Manute Bol.
Very quickly, it became obvious the Celtics wanted to try the same strategy that had worked against the Bullets. In the first two minutes, Parish didn't go near the basket and drew Eaton to the top of the key. Johnson promptly sneaked inside for two baskets, and McHale hit a three-point play for a 7-0 lead.
If the idea was to get a zone defense call, it didn't work. Then John Stockton hit two quick baskets and the Celtics had to think about defense. It was 15-8 when McHale hit a jumper down low. But baskets by Dantley and Karl Malone made it 15-12 and the Celtics called time. A three-point play by Bird eased the pressure and he followed with two free throws to make it 23-16.
But Utah put on a flurry at the end of the period, using the speed of Thurl Bailey fresh off the bench, and surged to leads of 26-25 and 28-27. Bird hit a jumper to give Boston a 29-28 lead at the quarter.
Boston shot ahead, 37-31, at the start of the second period, but Utah came back to outscore the Celtics, 9-2, for a 40-39 lead. Dantley and Rickie Green each had two baskets in the run. Boston got the lead back quickly as both Parish and Ainge scored. The Celtics then came alive on the boards and began a surge that would result in a 58-49 lead at halftime.
McHale started it with a follow-up to give Boston a 49-45 lead. Bird then battled to hit two straight second shots and the lead was 53-49 with 2:40 to go. Utah didn't score again in the half as the Celtics dominated at both ends. Bird sank two free throws and Parish hit a jumper before the halftime buzzer.
Boston's domination was seen in its 29-20 lead in rebounding. Bird had nine to go along with 20 points. McHale had 11 points, while Dantly led Utah with 13. With Utah trailing, 61-53, early in the third period, Stockton and Malone scored seven of Utah's next nine points to cut the deficit to 66-62.
Malone was a force at both ends of the court. While Boston was getting two free throws, Malone was jamming back missed shots, and when Rickey Green drove the length of the floor for a layup and hit a free throw, the game was tied at 69-69.
Parish came to life for two more baskets, and Boston had a four-point lead. Dantley then scored six straight points as Utah took a 76-75 lead with 20 seconds left. Scott Wedman's jumper with six seconds to go gave Boston the lead after three quarters, 77-76.
The Jazz came out firing at the start of the fourth period, and shot to an 86-79 lead. Dantley scored six of the first 10 points.
Boston momentarily went back to its wide open offense that opened the game, pulling Parish away from the basket. It seemed to bring life into the Celtics, who scored six of the next eight points and cut the lead to 88-85.
But now Dantley was becoming a scoring machine and three more tough baskets kept the Celtics playing the Jazz' tune. A basket by Bailey put Utah ahead, 96-91, and they also led, 98-93. But with less than thre minutes to play, Boston pulled to within one at 98-97 on baskets by Johnson and Bird. Johnson stole a pass, and then, surprisingly, the Jazz were called for an illegal defense at 2:13. Bird sank the free throw and the game was tied. Bird followed with a jumper and Boston had the lead at 100-98.
Things changed quickly. Johnson got caught inside and had a shot blocked. The Jazz recovered and when Bailey hit a 12-footer from the left side, the game was tied again at 100. With 38 seconds left, Bird threw up a runner and missed. The Jazz got the ball back and called time out with 11 seconds left on the shot clock.
Utah tried to run a play for Dantley, who wound up feeding Green. Bird forced him to alter his shot and Parish rebounded the miss with 14 seconds left. After a time out, Boston played for the final shot and Johnson missed at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.