Celtics

Final: Jazz 123, Celtics 113 — C’s defense gets exposed in Hayward’s return

(Lance King/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Celtics' defense finally woke up in the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz, but unlike Thursday night in Phoenix, they didn't have enough left in the tank to pull off the comeback. Joe Ingles scored a game-high 27 points for the hosts, leading a potent Jazz scoring attack that featured six players scoring 14 or more points as the Jazz spoiled Gordon Hayward's return to his former home with a 123-113 victory.

The C's offense actually held its own without Kyrie Irving (attending grandfather's memorial in Washington) but they couldn't manage to keep the Jazz out of the paint all night long in the pick-and-roll as poor coverages and effort was prevalent throughout the first three quarters, helping Utah to put up 95 points through three frame. Terry Rozier (team-high 22 points) helped to make things interesting in the fourth quarter with his hot shooting, but the C's could not get any closer than four after trailing by 17 points for parts of the second half.