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Jazz lose feisty battle with Celtics

The Jazz fought hard with the Celtics but the defending Eastern Conference champs held them off

NBA: Utah Jazz at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It was the back end of a back-to-back for the Boston Celtics but it didn’t matter as they took care of the Utah Jazz 122-114.

This was a relatively close game through three quarters until the Celtics put their foot on the gas and extended the lead to double digits in the 4th quarter and didn’t look back. Although the Jazz definitely didn’t go down with a fight ... or two.

The first scuffles came with Talen Horton-Tucker and Blake Griffin getting tangled up various times, and in the fourth Horton-Tucker torpedoed to the rim, making sure that he took out Griffin on the way. The refs would call a foul on the Celtics, which had the Celtics infuriated. The game got even chippier, which led to Blake Griffin going at it with Kris Dunn.

Despite all the chippiness and the strong win for the Celtics, the Jazz continue to impress with their unselfish style of play and effort on both ends of the floor.

Talen Horton-Tucker had another eyebrow-raising stat line of 28 points with 8 rebounds and 7 assists. The Pat Beverley trade for Horton-Tucker continues to look great for the Jazz as they appear to have unlocked the best version of THT. His length at the 1 combined with his ability to penetrate and either score or kick out the ball, is a real weapon. If THT can continue to improve and look like this more consistently, there’s no reason to believe he can’t be a rotation player for the Jazz for a long while.

Walker Kessler was also fantastic for the Jazz. He had another strong game with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks. For how talkative Blake Griffin was sure scared of shooting around the rim when Kessler was there. Maybe this was why?

Kessler’s abilities on the defensive end are already at an elite level but his offensive talent is starting to show more and more with him trying more things every game.

Tonight, he tried some moves around the basket and even knocked down this 15-footer.

These are the things that make this season such a successful one for the Jazz. Kessler it getting opportunities he might not have gotten had the Jazz kept all their veterans. On top of this, they’re going to get some nice picks in the draft.

We do need to mention that Jayson Tatum was great for the Celtics. He had 39 on incredible efficiency and is a lock for All-NBA, probably 1st team. If only he could have shown this the last time he played the Jazz.