Best win of the year last night? It sure looks like it.
The Captain came through in the end.
After the Celtics 110-107 OT victory over the Jazz last night, head coach Doc Rivers called it Boston's "best win of the year." A quick look at some numbers suggests Doc is probably right. Six other games come to mind as possible candidates for the C's best win of the season:
The Celtics have beaten both of last year's NBA finalists; a 108-100 triumph over OKC on Nov. 23, and a double-overtime 100-98 win vs. Miami on Jan. 27. But each of those victories came at the Garden, and seem much less impressive when you look at the uninspiring 16-11 road records that both the Heat and Thunder have.
Two other recent home games make the list; the 116-95 demolition of the Lakers on Feb. 7, and the 118-114 3OT win over Denver three days later on Feb 10. But again both of these lose a lot of merit when you look at the pathetic away numbers for LA (10-19) and the Nuggets (12-19).
Boston's previous two best road wins were likely on Christmas Day over the Nets 93-76, and on Jan. 7 in New York, 102-96. While both teams have solid home marks (20-12 for BK and 20-8 for the Knicks), neither can top Utah's 21-6 record in Salt Lake City before the Celtics came to town. The Jazz were also 7-1 at home vs. Eastern Conference teams prior to last night.
Factoring in that this was the Celtics 5th road game in 7 nights makes it even more impressive. Not to mention that it was also Boston's first victory all year when playing road games on back to back days (the C's were a combined 0-7 in both the front and back ends of that situation).
And how about this stat: Boston had to overcome some excellent free throw shooting by the Jazz, who went 21-24 from the line (88%). The Celtics managed to hit 18 of 20 themselves, good for 90%.