Boston, MA – Kevin Garnett scored a game-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds as the Celtics downed the Jazz, 94-82, on Wednesday.
Paul Pierce finished with 20 points, Brandon Bass tallied 19 and Rajon Rondo dished out 14 assists for Boston, which won its third straight and fifth of six overall.
Gordon Hayward continued his strong rookie campaign with 19 points and seven boards while Al Jefferson went for 18 and 12 for Utah, which has dropped two of three after a six-game winning streak.
With the win, Boston tied idle Atlantic Division leader Philadelphia at 28-22, though the Sixers own the tiebreaker by virtue of a 2-0 head-to-head record against the Celtics with one game to play.
After a tight first quarter, Boston rolled off a 17-4 run midway through the second to take a 15-point advantage. The hosts led 46-35 at intermission on the back of 11 points apiece from Pierce and Bass.
Boston took its largest lead of the game at 18 points midway through the third, but the Jazz immediately ripped off a 23-5 rally to tie the game at 66. They failed to fully complete the comeback, however.
Keyon Dooling drained a three-pointer, Garnett hit a fadeaway jumper and Avery Bradley knocked down two from the line following the tie to stop the bleeding.
Enes Kanter made a layup to get the Jazz to within three once more, but Sasha Pavlovic followed Dooling's jumper with a trey and the visitors got no closer than seven the rest of the way.
Boston's Ray Allen missed his fourth straight game with a sore right ankle. Bradley finished with nine points in his place...Utah shot 39 percent (32- of-82) from the field. Boston shot at a 46.8 percent (36-of-77) clip...The Jazz outrebounded the Celtics, 49-38.