Article

Celtics sneak past Jazz in overtime

26 February 2013 06:49

The Boston Celtics have claimed a thrilling overtime victory against the Utah Jazz in the NBA on Monday.

The Jazz led by five points (53-48) at half-time, but were put on the back foot heading into the final term after they were outscored 32-19 in the third period to trail 80-72.

However, Utah fought back in front of their home fans at EnergySolutions Arena and an Alec Burks lay-up with 19.9 seconds left in the match levelled things up at 97-97.

Boston veteran Paul Pierce had the chance to decide the contest in regulation time but his turnaround jumper with one second remaining missed its mark and the encounter was sent into an additional period.

The Celtics held sway for majority of the fifth stanza and led 110-107 at the death.

Utah had one last roll of the dice with half a second remaining to force another overtime period when Randy Foye put up a three-point attempt but it was off target and Boston held on for a memorable win.

Pierce turned in another stellar performance for the Celtics with 26 points, eight assists and seven rebounds while Avery Bradley (18) and Kevin Garnett (13, 10 rebounds) also proved valuable.

Gordon Hayward starred for the Jazz with 26 points and Al Jefferson (15, 11 rebounds) provided good support.

In Denver, a dominant first half from the Nuggets ultimately proved decisive in their 119-108 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, who remain three games outside the playoffs spots with 24 regular-season matches remaining.

The hosts opened up a 13-point (67-54) advantage at the major break and the Lakers were incapable of making meaningful inroads into that deficit for the remainder of the match as Denver won their ninth straight game at the Pepsi Center without the services of injured star Danilo Gallinari (left thigh).

Wilson Chandler (23 points) and Ty Lawson (22, eight assists) were the standout performers for Denver, while Kobe Bryant (29, nine) and Dwight Howard (15, 14 rebounds) were the best for the Lakers, whose four-game winning streak came to an end.

In the day's other matches, Atlanta maintained their spot in the Western Conference top four with a 114-103 success against Detroit and Washington downed Toronto 90-84.

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