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Boston Celtics beat Jazz for ninth win in 10 games behind Thomas, Olynyk

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AP

Published 12:48 a.m. ET Feb. 12, 2017 | Updated 2 hours ago

SALT LAKE CITY — Isaiah Thomas scored 29 points and Kelly Olynyk added 19 to help the Boston Celtics defeat the Utah Jazz 112-104 on Saturday night for their ninth win in their last 10 games.

Gerald Green and Al Horford each added 16 points, and Horford also had eight rebounds.

The Celtics (35-19) swept the season series with Utah after beating the Jazz 115-104 on Jan. 3.

Gordon Hayward scored 25 points and George Hill added 22 to lead the Jazz, who could not overcome poor shooting and struggled to get defensive stops during critical stretches.

Boston, which never trailed, stayed a step ahead of the Jazz throughout the first quarter behind hot shooting. The Celtics scored on their first three possessions, culminating in a dunk from Amir Johnson, to set the tone for a half in which they shot 24 of 36 (66.7 percent) from the field.

The Jazz could not stop Boston from attacking the paint early and finding a quick rhythm both inside and outside. Olynyk gave the Celtics their first double-digit lead at 33-23 when he finished off the quarter with a 3-pointer and a buzzer-beating layup.

The Jazz whittled the deficit down to 37-30 on a dunk from Derrick Favors early in the second quarter. Boston answered with a 10-0 run to blow the game open before halftime. Green kickstarted the run with three straight baskets. Thomas finished it off with a pair of free throws to put the Celtics up 47-30 with 5:28 remaining in the half.

Utah pulled within single digits again during the third quarter. The Jazz trimmed their deficit to 64-56 on a reverse dunk from Rudy Gobert. Olynyk quickly countered with a 3-pointer and then James Young followed with a running layup and another three to push the Celtics’ lead to 72-58.

Boston extended its lead to 85-65 after opening the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run. Thomas fueled the run by feeding Horford for a 3-pointer and then burying one of his own on the ensuing possession.

The Jazz made one final rally, cutting the Celtics’ lead to 108-102 on a corner 3 from Hayward with 22 seconds left. Horford and Marcus Smart each hit a pair of free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.

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TIP INS

Celtics: Boston doubled up Utah on points in the paint in the first half, holding a 28-14 advantage. … G/F Gerald Green scored 14 points in the first half on 6-of-7 shooting. Green came in averaging 5.2 points per game. … F Jaylon Brown left with a hip strain in the second quarter and did not return. Brown totaled two points and four rebounds in 11 minutes.

Jazz: Utah made just 12 field goals in the second and third quarters combined. The Jazz shot 12 of 44 (27.3 percent) from the field over that span. … C Rudy Gobert finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds to notch his 37th double-double this season. Gobert also had a blocked shot, giving him an NBA-best 52 games with at least one block this season.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Travel to Dallas to take on the surging Mavericks on Monday. Dallas has won two straight games and six of its last eight to move within two games of eighth place Denver.

Jazz: host the Clippers on Monday in a critical game for the Western Conference playoff picture. Los Angeles trails Utah by a half-game for fourth place in the West.

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