Zeller's Game Winner Lifts Celtics Over Jazz

Brad Stevens didn't think the first play would work. The second one turned out perfectly.

Tyler Zeller banked in a shot from under the basket as time expired to give the Boston Celtics an 85-84 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

After Boston blew an eight-point lead in the final 2 1/2 minutes, the Celtics called timeout after Gordon Hayward's fallaway jumper from the right baseline with 1.7 seconds left gave Utah a one-point edge.

Marcus Smart was unable to inbounds the ball and had to call timeout.

Stevens went back to the drawing board.

Smart then made a long inbounds pass to Zeller under the basket. He banked it off the backboard with 0.1 seconds showing on the clock. It went through the net as the buzzer sounded and was upheld after a review.

"It was a good play," Boston forward Jae Crowder said he told his coach immediately after the basket. "Good audible. He drew up something way different."

Zeller made the right move before the shot.

"I saw Gordon (Hayward) flying in so I shot-faked and just got the ball up," he said. "Thankfully, I was able to get it up to the rim and was able to make it."

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 21 points, Crowder had 18 and Avery Bradley added 13 points and seven rebounds to help the Celtics rebound from a 31-point loss in Cleveland on Tuesday night.

Derrick Favors and Trey Burke scored 16 points each for Utah, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Rudy Gobert had 10 points and 16 rebounds, and Hayward scored 13 points.

"It was a great pass," Hayward said about the play before turning his thoughts to his former college coach at Butler. "That's what Coach Stevens does. He's excellent in those situations."

The Jazz trailed 81-73 with 2 1/2 minutes to play, but rallied to slice it to 83-82 on Burke's driving basket with 54.8 seconds left.

After Thomas missed a 3-pointer from the right wing and Crowder's put-back was blocked by Gobert, Burke's drive bounced off the rim and out of bounds off one of Boston's players with 9.5 seconds to go.

Hayward dribbled from the top of the key before nailing his shot.

"We should have won," Gobert said "We made good plays at the end and we had the game."

The Celtics, who led by six points after three quarters, pulled to their biggest lead of the game, 66-57, on Thomas' 3-pointer early in the fourth. They led by nine twice more before the Jazz went on a 7-1 run, closing it to 71-68 on Favors' jumper with 6:05 to play.

Crowder then scored Boston's next five points to trigger a 10-5 spurt as the Celtics opened an 81-73 edge on Thomas' transition jumper from the right wing with 2 1/2 minutes to go.

Boston led by one at the half despite shooting just 32.6 percent (15 of 46). The Jazz didn't fare much better, hitting only 37.1 (13 of 35).


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