UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Guard Donovan Mitchell Hits Nasty Stepback Against Celtics

Mar 23, 2022, 6:39 PM
Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz - Boston Celtics...
Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics and Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz compete for the ball during the first quarter of the game at TD Garden on March 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
(Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell crossed over Derrick White before drilling a stepback jumper in Utah’s game against the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics hosted the Jazz at TD Garden on Wednesday, March 23.

With 4:34 left in the second quarter, Mitchell hit White with a crafty cross before stepping back and burying a 20-foot jumper.

Mitchell’s shot cut Boston’s lead to 59-34.

It was part of seven straight Jazz points by the fifth-year guard.

At halftime, the Jazz trailed the Celtics, 68-45.

Mitchell led Utah with 19 points on 7-14 field goals, including 2-7 from beyond the arc. Mitchell added three rebounds, one assist, and a steal during his first 18 minutes on the hardwood.

This season, Mitchell is averaging 26.0 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting, including 36.3 percent from downtown.

Jazz vs. Celtics

Though Bojan Bogdanovic and Danuel House Jr. are both traveling with the Jazz, neither player has made an appearance on the team’s current six-game road trip.

Bogdanovic has missed the Jazz last five games with a calf strain and has been ruled out Wednesday’s game against Boston.

House Jr. suffered a knee bruise in the Jazz loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on March 14 and hasn’t appeared in the last four games.

Between the two players, the Jazz are missing key depth on the wing and two valuable floor spacing scorers.

Bogdanovic is the Jazz’s second-leading scorer at 18.1 points per game while shooting 39 percent from the three-point line.

House Jr. is averaging just 6.5 points per game but leads the team in three-point shooting at 44 percent.

The Jazz have offered no timeline on when either player might return.

Celtics Are NBA’s Hottest Team

Exactly two months ago, the Celtics sat at an even 24-24 on the season and in the eighth seed of the Eastern Conference.

But over the last two months, Boston has become nearly unbeatable winning 22 of their last 26 games while owning the league’s best net rating by a significant margin.

The Celtics are outscoring their opponents by an average of 15.1 points per game, and 15.8 points per 100 possessions. The next closest is the league-leading Phoenix Suns who own a net rating of 9.8 during the stretch.

Boston’s offensive rating of 118.7 ranks third best during the stretch, while their 102.9 defensive rating is tops in the league, nearly five points better than the second-ranked Miami Heat.

The Celtics own the fourth-best record in the East but are just 2.5 games out of the top spot in the conference.

Utah’s game against Boston is broadcast on AT&T SportsNet, NBA League Pass, and The Zone Sports Network.

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