BOSTON -- That was a dog fight. The Celtics BATTLED with the Jazz for 48 minutes in Boston and were able to avenge their post All-Star Break loss. Riding high on another offensive clinic by Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas, some highlight reel defense by Avery Bradley in the fourth, and nine HUGE rebounds by Amir Johnson, the Celtics were able to pull out another last minute victory against a game opponent.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE: The Celtics entered Monday’s game on a 10-home game winning streak. After finding themselves down early, the Celtics again went to Evan Turner who for the second game in a row hit the floor with purpose and injected the C’s with some much needed energy. Despite trailing for most of the game, the Celtics were able to keep the point differential small in the second half and pulled ahead down the stretch to secure their 11th straight home victory.
JORDAN MICKEY HAS ARRIVED: The Celtics fans were treated to an early Jordan Mickey appearance, and boy were they excited with what they saw. Mickey posted three points and two blocks in seven minutes of play. That was enough to get the crowd in attendance to cheer, and the fans online jumping out of their seats. The hype train is PACKED with Mickey jerseys.
Brad Stevens wants the C's to out-hustle their opponents night-in, night-out. Seems like they got the message: pic.twitter.com/RcFb5LvmjB— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 1, 2016
CHEMISTRY TEST: Opting not to make any moves at the deadline and buying out David Lee-- which looks to be addition by subtraction-- has added more confidence to the Green. There is no quit in this team whatsoever.Jordan Mickey block. Have we got an insane Tommy Heinsohn comparison yet?— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) March 1, 2016
Degree of difficulty? High. Result? Buckets. pic.twitter.com/SKpVUZjjKF— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 1, 2016
Since the All-Star Break the Celtics have looked like a different team. Both the starters and the bench are playing more aggressive, sharing the ball, and playing dogged defense on both offense and defense. Everyone is rowing in the same direction, Tommy is making up new nicknames for people, the crowd is LOUD at every game; this is awesome.
A well-run fast break is a thing of beauty. Evan Turner and Tyler Zeller just proved it: pic.twitter.com/0X0tboZPHr— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 1, 2016
LOOKING AHEAD: The Celtics are in sole possession of the 3rd spot in the east going into Monday's game and will look to solidify that spot in the coming weeks. Beating Utah, who according to play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman, "punched them right in the mouth," after the All-Star break, was a big victory for Boston.
2/29/2016 09:58:00 PM
The Celtics are 3-0 in their current home stand and will face the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor