The Utah Jazz lost to Brooklyn, 104-88 last night, to start off their four game eastern road trip. Brook Lopez lead the Nets with 27 points and 7 rebounds, with former Jazz man Deron Williams contributing 10 points, 8 assists to hand them their fourth straight loss. Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter lead all Jazz scoring with 22 and 21 points respectively, plus 13 combined rebounds.
The 0-4 Jazz now travel to Boston where they face the Celtics, also 0-4 on the season. This brutal match up will highlight a battle of wills, as one team will finally emerge with one in the win column.
If the first and fourth quarters were indication of Utah’s will to win and what could be, their record might be different. In the end, will was not enough, and the Celtics beat the Jazz 97-87.
For Boston it’s their first season win, avoiding a repeat of their worst franchise start since 1946 of five losses. A rebuilding year, Celtics first year head coach, and former Butler University head coach, Brad Stevens, managed to find a favorable rotation with center Kelly Olynyk and forward Gerald Wallace coming off the bench to play 29 and 23 minutes each, and contributing a combined 17 rebounds and 23 points. Brandon Bass lead Celtic scorers with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists. Rajon Rondo did not play due to injury.
Highlights for the Jazz included the play of Gordon Hayward with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, who was reunited with his former Butler coach and lead all scorers. Enes Kanter had 22 points and 8 rebounds, helping the Jazz overcome a deficit that reached 25 points at one time. Honorable mention went to Richard Jefferson’s 13 points, 3 assists, whose play midway through the third quarter was key to sparking the Jazz run in the fourth. Utah was able to get within 6 at the 3:54 mark, and outscored Boston 25-13 in the quarter, but it was not enough to shake the 22 turnovers and 27-8 thumping in the second quarter that ultimately lead to their demise. The winless Jazz face the Bulls next on the road trip.