Tatum scores 30 as Celtics use threes, defence to smother Jazz
Boston never trailed, led by as many as 36 points in the first half and made 17 3s for the night. The Eastern Conference leaders earned their seventh victory in eight games.
The Celtics have scored 120 or more points in nine straight games.
Porzingis said there isn't any magic formula to why things are clicking offensively.
“I think it's just the talent, honestly,” he said. “Us settling in a little bit to our roles and into our ways of playing. And we're just that talented to be honest. Tonight they were doubling JT and he was willing to make the right pass and the right play. That's an automatic, huge advantage for us.”
The loss snapped a three-game win streak for Utah, on a road trip to face the East’s top three teams, with Philadelphia and Milwaukee up next. The Jazz then returns home to host defending NBA champion Denver on Monday.
Utah tied a franchise-record with 154 points in an overtime win over Detroit on Wednesday but came out flat opposite a Celtics team that pushed the tempo and forced the Jazz into quick, unbalanced shots. Utah shot 36% (34 of 94) from the field and 18% from the 3-point line — both season lows.
Lauri Markkanen had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Utah was at times careless with the ball, turning it over 18 times, which Boston turned into 26 points.
“We just looked timid around the basket early in the game,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “I think we were pretty unphysical on the offensive end. We've been talking a lot about our physicality defensively. Tonight, I think our lack of physicality on the offensive end was exposed by a very good defensive team.”
The Jazz dropped to 5-15 on the road.
The Celtics were the aggressors early, scoring the game’s first 10 points. Utah had its first two shots of the night blocked and missed its first nine attempts, falling behind 12-2.
Boston ended the opening period with a 30-15 lead, punctuated by Holiday's 28-foot buzzer-beater. Utah shot just 18% in the quarter, going 1 for 12 from 3.
“Tonight's game was about taking away their speed with our physicality and our off-ball defense, and I thought we did that," Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said.
Jazz: Continue three-game road trip at Philadelphia on Saturday night.
Celtics: At Indiana on Saturday and Monday nights.
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