SALT LAKE CITY – Gordon Hayward received a cold reception in Utah. He was booed every time he touched the ball and his Boston Celtics left the city with a loss.
Joe Ingles equaled his career with 27 points and added seven assists in the season, helping the Jazz beat the Celtics 123- 115 on Friday night on Hayward's return to Salt Lake City.
Hayward made 13 points and seven assists in 25 minutes during his first game in Utah since leaving the Jazz as a free agent to sign with the Celtics after the 2016/17 season. He broke his left ankle at the Boston opening last season.
The ace spent his first seven NBA seasons with Jazz after being ninth overall in 2010. He averaged 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists for Utah but faced the hostile reaction from fans of Jazz.
"I kind of expected that," Hayward said. "They were booing me from the start so it's part of the game."
Boston reduced the deficit from 20 points to four in the fourth quarter. Playing without the injured Kyrie Irving, the Celtics closed within four on several occasions at the end of the period, the last time in a 3-pointer by Marcus Smart that made 111-107 with 2:19 left.
Rudy Gobert quickly responded with a layup that pushed the lead back to six. Jayson Tatum followed up with the lack of lay-ups that could have reduced the deficit again, and Boston never approached.
Jae Crowder finally knocked on the door with a corner 3 that gave Utah a 117-109 lead with 47.7 seconds remaining.
Utah coach Quin Snyder thought his team turned a corner by beating the Celtics.
"Our team could not handle the successes during the games sometimes," Snyder said. "We lose focus sometimes when we hit the shots. Teams will come back to you, but you can not make it easier for them."
Donovan Mitchell scored 21 points for Utah. Crowder was 20 and Gobert finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds. The Jazz won their second consecutive game at home and the second in a row overall.
"We all took it, took our energy defensively, sought our focus," Mitchell said. "We've had great practices, but we have not included them in games. I think in the last two games, we did it. "
Terry Rozier scored 22 points on the season, making his first start in Irving's place, and Jayson Tatum added 21 for the Celtics.
The Boston lost for the third time in four games, after allowing Utah to dispute a 56% increase in the field.
"As good as we were defensively in the first nine games, I think we have not been so good in the last three," coach Brad Stevens said. "I thought we really did a good job on the initial drives in isolation, but we did not have many rebounds in many cases. Our pick-and-roll defense, we just have to really support this."
The Jazz began to pull away when it hit 3 points in each of its four fourth-quarter final possessions and took a 58-51 lead in the break. The English represented the first three baskets of long distance, highlighting a first time of 20 points for him.
Utah opened the third quarter in a 17 to 6 race. Mitchell lit the jet draining three free throws and heading into a back-to-back belongings dispute. Derrick Favors continued with consecutive baskets that gave the Jazz a double-digit lead and ended the race with a pair of free throws that put Utah ahead 75- 57, just four minutes from the break.
"Defensively, we do not pay attention to details," Rozier said. "We just did not have a presence out there, so they played freely."
The Jazz built their lead for 83-63 in a Crowder layup before Boston rebounded in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics scored in four straight holds, culminating in Tatum's layup to light a 15-4 run. Rozier hit a 3 to close the race and cut Utah's lead to 100-96.
"I mean, they know. I'll leave it at that. "- Crowder over whether his 20-point performance was motivated by the desire to show the Celtics that they made a mistake when they traded him for Cleveland before the 2017-18 season.
Celtics: Smart scored a season high with 10 assists, slightly below his career. Smart also scored 13 points in his first double-double of the season. … Boston had 28 points in 17 Utah turnovers. … The Celtics climbed 35 points in the third quarter.
Jazz: English made five 3s, taking him ahead of Deron Williams (511) on Utah's career roster. Ingles has 512 3 pointers with Jazz. … Utah finished with a 45-28 lead on the boards. … Jazz scored 50 points on the painting.
Celtics: In Portland on Sunday.
Jazz: In Memphis on Monday
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