The 2017 Utah Jazz Summer League came to an exciting close Thursday night as the Jazz came from behind to take down the Celtics 68-65 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
A slow, sloppy game caught fire late as the Jazz rallied from a 13-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter. With the game tied and under five minutes left, Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell pumped up the crowd by grabbing a steal and drawing a foul on No. 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum. On the ensuing play, Mitchell spun into Tatum—putting Boston’s top pick on his backside—and then dished to Julian Wright for a dunk.
The Jazz would lead the rest of the way.
Mitchell and Danté Exum, who had played off of each other so well earlier in the week, rarely shared the court as summer league coach Alex Jensen elected to stagger their playing time—until the fourth quarter, that is. The two guards played the entire final period together (where the Jazz outscored the Celtics 22-11) and combined to seal the win with two driving layups (by Exum) and two free throws (by Mitchell) in the closing minute.
Exum led the Jazz with 16 points and added four assists, one steal and one block in 25 minutes. Mitchell struggled from the field for the second straight game, but he got after it on the other end and turned two straight steals into breakaway dunks in the third quarter. He finished with eight points, three rebounds and four steals.
Boston’s Abdel Nader led all scorers with 17 points, while Tatum finished with 12 points (on 4-for-12 shooting) and 12 rebounds.
Jaylen Brown did not play for Boston, while Joel Bolomboy sat out for the Jazz. Both teams will now head to the 2017 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, which starts on Friday.
The Jazz won all three of their games this week. … Mitchell grabbed at least three steals for the third straight game. … Neither team shot the ball well. Utah shot 39.1 percent from the field while Boston shot 38.2 percent. … Utah’s Eric Griffin stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 22 minutes. … Ante Zizic had nine points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 23 minutes for the Celtics.