Cloudy
51°
Cloudy
Hi 53° | Lo 19°

Celtics Top Jazz, Give Coach First NBA Victory

Boston — Brandon Bass scored 20 points and Jeff Green added 18 to lead the Boston Celtics to their first win of the season, 97-87 over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

The game reunited new Celtics coach Brad Stevens with Gordon Hayward, the Butler star who took the Bulldogs to the NCAA championship game against Duke and just missed a shot from inside half court that would have won it. Hayward had 28 points and nine rebounds for Utah (0-5), one of the last two winless teams in the NBA this season.

The attendance of 17,130 was about 1,500 fans short of a sellout, ending a streak of 289 games dating to the end of the 2006-07 season. That was the last game before the Celtics (1-4) brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce for a New Big Three that won the franchise’s record 17th NBA championship.

Derrick Favors scored 10 points with 14 rebounds and Enes Kanter scored 22 with eight boards for the Jazz, who open a season with five straight losses for the first time since 1974, when they were still in New Orleans.

Gerald Wallace had nine points and nine rebounds for Boston, which led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter before Utah scored 17 of the first 20 in the fourth to cut a 22-point deficit into single digits.

The rebuilding Celtics lost their first four games, including last week’s home opener in which they blew a 22-point lead.

But Stevens’ second game in front of the home crowd, the Celtics held on.

The Jazz opened a 16-3 lead in the first five minutes but Boston scored the next seven points and cut it to three points, 26-23, by the end of the quarter. The Celtics made the first four baskets of the second to take the lead, and they scored 12 consecutive points at the end of the half to take a 16-point lead.

Notes: The Celtics entered the night averaging 21 turnovers per game; they had 15. Utah averaged 19.8 turnovers and committed 22. ... The Celtics avoided starting the season 0-5 for the first time since 1946, when they lost the first five games in franchise history.