Celtics end western swing against Jazz

A five-game, seven-night western road trip for a weary Boston Celtics bunch will come to a close Monday night against the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City.

The Celtics are just 1-3 on the trip and suffered a 92-86 loss against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. Playing their fourth game in six days, the Celtics were led by Paul Pierce's 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

Kevin Garnett had 20 points and nine boards, while Brandon Bass and Jeff Green scored 11 points apiece. Garnett tied the game at 86-86 on a driving layup with 1:46 remaining, but the Blazers later closed the game on a 6-0 run and ended a season high seven-game losing streak.

"I thought when we needed stops we couldn't get them," Garnett said. "I thought when we had the chance to turn the corner, we didn't turn it."

Boston is only 9-18 on the road and has lost four of the last six games.

After visiting the Jazz, the Celtics will return to the east coast for some rest and a home tilt versus the Golden State Warriors on Friday.

The Jazz will be in the comfy confines of EnergySolutions Arena for the next three games versus Boston, Atlanta and Charlotte.

Utah is 7-1 at home against the East and 21-6 as the host overall. It has won six of the past seven in Salt Lake City and dropped a 107-94 decision at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. Gordon Hayward led the Jazz off the bench with 23 points and set a career-high with 13 made foul shots.

Paul Millsap scored 19 points for Utah, which had won three straight and five of the previous seven games. L.A. had a 36-20 advantage in the third quarter to blow the game away. Al Jefferson added 16 points in a losing cause.

"They're a good team, we had opportunities, give them credit," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said of the Clippers. "We didn't make the baskets we needed."

The Jazz were 1-of-15 from beyond the arc and shot 41.7 percent.

In two games since returning from injury, Hayward is averaging 20 ppg. He notched 17 in a win over Golden State last Tuesday.

Utah and Boston will wrap up their season series Monday and the Celtics won the first meeting, a 98-93 home victory on Nov. 14. The Celtics have won four straight, six of eight and 11 of the last 16 matchups with Utah.