Tomorrow morning, the Boston Celtics will face the Utah Jazz, looking to extend their incredible winning streak at home.
The Boston Celtics recently ended their six-game winning streak with a loss to Oklahoma, with a scoreline of 123:127. Kristaps Porzingis emerged as the team's top scorer, bagging 34 points off a successful 12 out of 18 attempts. Jayson Tatum contributed 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists, whilst Derrick White racked up 19 points and 6 assists. The team achieved a 45% field goal percentage, landing 15 out of 40 from the three-point line. Jaylen Brown missed 14 out of 18 attempts, including all eight of his three-point shots. Oklahoma City turned the tide in the third quarter, beating Boston 40:25, a decisive moment in the game's outcome.
The Celtics have not lost two consecutive games since November when they fell to Minnesota and Philadelphia. The Celtics have scored no less than 120 points in their last 8 games. Averaging 20.6 points per game, Porzingis is the third-highest scorer for Boston after Tatum and Brown. Jrue Holiday made a comeback against Oklahoma City following a victory over San Antonio. In the fourth quarter against Oklahoma City, Mazulla fielded backup guard Payton Pritchard. The Celtics lead the league in rebounds per game this season and lead in blocks per game.
The Utah Jazz basketball team is showing impressive form, having won 9 out of their last 12 matches. Recently, they secured a win against the Pistons in overtime with a scoreline of 154:148, setting a franchise record. Lauri Markkanen made a significant contribution, scoring 31 points. Collin Sexton added 25 points and 5 assists, whilst John Collins and Simon Fontecchio also contributed, scoring 17 and 16 points respectively. The team demonstrated a high scoring efficiency, achieving a 51.5% field goal percentage and 50% from the three-point line.
Coach Will Hardy expressed confidence in Utah's teamwork, noting that their success is rooted in the players' trust in their teammates and commitment to the right play. Utah also won 6 out of the last 7 matches, showcasing strong defence and attack. Markkanen, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, underscored the need to step up their defence in the upcoming three-match road trip, which includes games against Philadelphia and Milwaukee. Following Markkanen's return, Hardy successfully fine-tuned the team's system, leading Utah to secure convincing victories over Dallas and Miami. However, it's worth noting that the team's recent losses have been to strong opponents - New Orleans, Cleveland, and Sacramento.
In the last five head-to-head encounters between the Boston Celtics and the Utah Jazz, Utah emerged victorious in three of them. The most recent clash took place on 1 April 2023, when the Boston Celtics won with a score of 122:114. However, a month prior to this, on 19 March 2023, Utah Jazz narrowly overcame Boston with a scoreline of 118:117.
While the Celtics have an impressive 16-0 home statistic, Utah has an underwhelming 5-14 record. Utah is on a good run and has enough offence to challenge Boston; I think the bookmakers are placing too much faith in the home team. My money's on a positive form for the Jazz.