Rajon Rondo scored 12 of his career-high 25 points
in the final 5:20, and Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 10 rebounds
on Monday night to lead the Boston Celtics to their 15th
consecutive victory, 100-91 over the Utah Jazz.
Kendrick Perkins added 15 points and 14 rebounds for Boston,
which avenged the worst loss of its championship season. Paul
Pierce scored 15 points before he hurt his left knee during a
scramble for a defensive rebound with 31 seconds left.
"It should be all right," Pierce said. "I put a little weight
on it. It didn't go back that far, so it should be all right."
Paul Millsap scored a career-high 32 points with 10 rebounds for
For Boston, the victory was payback of sorts for a 110-92 loss
to the Jazz last March - the Celtics' worst loss of last season,
when they cruised to a 66-16 record and their 17th NBA title.
Pierce was the Most Valuable Player of the finals, and fans chanted
"M-V-P!" when he was helped off the court at the end of the game.
Rondo also had nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals.
The Jazz were within 89-85 after Deron Williams' 3-pointer with
3:23 left. But Rondo drove for a one-handed bank shot and then,
after Williams sank a basket, Rondo made a free throw and Perkins
hit a turnaround hook shot in the lane.
Williams, who scored 15, hit another basket, but Perkins sank
one of two free throws and Rondo made a spinning reverse bank shot
from under the basket to make it 97-89 with 43 seconds left.
The game seesawed through the first three quarters, with Boston
opening a 12-point lead in the first, giving it back in the second
and then going up 60-51 midway through the third.