SALT LAKE CITY – They were picks No. 3 and 13 in the 2017 NBA draft, though based on far more than what they did last night, Jayson Tatum and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell win a lopsided debate as 1 and 1A in a redraft.
And last night, with Tatum breaking the 30-point mark in his third straight game with a 33-point performance, and Mitchell scoring 37 down the other end, the Celtics squeaked out of a tough western road trip with a 114-103 win over Utah. The Celtics thus completed the post-all-star trip with a 3-1 record, including a two-point loss to the Lakers.
Hayward’s 3-pointer with 24.6 seconds left in the third, framed by a chorus of boos whenever he touched the ball, gave the Celtics a quarter-ending 85-82 lead.
Enes Kanter opened the fourth with a pair of hoops for an 89-82 lead, and before long Smart had taken over.
The Celtics guard hit three 3-pointers in a two-minute stretch, and when Smart dished to Kanter off the break following the third bomb, the Celtics had a 100-87 lead – their largest of the game.
Though Utah answered with five straight points, Brad Wanamaker drove off the wing to convert a three-point play for a 103-92 edge with 6:23 left, and the next time down swished a floater for a 13-point edge.
Mike Conley immediately hit a 3-pointer, but Brown hit from 15 feet, and the next time…