Alec Burks scored 21 points off the bench and Derrick Favors added 20 points in his return from injury as the Utah Jazz snapped a three-game losing streak in a 110-98 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday night in Salt Lake City.
Favors, playing in his first game since re-aggravating a recurring hip injury on Feb. 12, scored eight of the Jazz's first 13 points, helping Utah to an early lead. Working in limited minutes, Favors handed the scoring load to Enes Kanter and Burks, expanding the Jazz lead to 27-18 at the end of the first quarter.
Burks, Gordon Hayward and Jeremy Evans continued the Jazz scoring in the second, maintaining an eight-point lead until late in the second quarter. Marvin Williams then dropped seven of Utah's next nine points, and the Jazz took a 59-46 lead into halftime.
Consistent scoring from Burks, Williams and Favors kept the Celtics at bay through most of the second half, as the Celtics drew no closer than nine points for the rest of the game.
- Welcome back, Derrick Favors. We missed you. The big man was extremely active from the opening tip, sinking an early 17-foot jumper, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds. He looked fresh and showed no signs of lingering injury, although his minutes were limited as a precautionary measure.
- Burks did Burks things, adding four assists and a three-pointer to his usual array of drives and free throws. He seemed like he was actively looking to distribute, even when he was on the floor with Trey Burke.
- Marvin Williams bounced back from a pair of lackluster performances, hitting on 8-10 field goals including two three-pointers. Regardless of the rumors surrounding his availability at the trade deadline, he's a Jazzman for the rest of the season, and that's a good thing if he plays like he did tonight.
- Playing in front of his college coach, Brad Stevens, did not improve Gordon Hayward's shooting much. He finished with eight points on 4-11 shooting, although he did have 10 assists and was otherwise active in running the floor and getting deflections. Stevens told media before the game not to worry about Gordon's shooting slump, so I won't dwell on it too much. Still, Hayward is shooting below 30 percent in nine February games. Yeesh.
- While Trey Burke posted a +20 on the night and hit shots when he needed to, 5-16 field-goal shooting is not great. He swung from nailing open threes to bricking running jumpers and back again. I'm not worried about him, but the inconsistency is disappointing.
- A negative for the above-basket camera, which apparently broke free of its duct-tape shackles and delayed the tip-off of tonight's game by about ten minutes. Step it up, camera.