C’s lose late lead, fall to third place in 118-117 loss

Celtics fall to third place in East after losing late lead in defeat to Jazz originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics should have left Utah with their third straight win of the road trip, but the Jazz mounted a comeback late in the fourth quarter and handed the C’s a 118-117 loss.

The Celtics had a 19-point lead in the first half, and they also led 117-113 with 1:19 remaining in the game. But the Celtics couldn’t hold on, and now they are in third place in the Eastern Conference behind the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.

Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 25 points, while Lauri Markkanen paced the Jazz with 28.

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The Celtics’ road trip resumes Tuesday night against the Kings in Sacramento. The Kings are the second =-place team in the Western Conference and have won eight of their last 10 games.

But before we look ahead to that game, here are three takeaways from Celtics-Jazz.

1) Celtics fall in standings

The Celtics clinched a playoff spot Saturday night as a result of the Miami Heat’s loss to the Chicago Bulls. However, the Celtics’ loss to the Jazz, combined with the 76ers’ win over the Indiana Pacers earlier in the day, dropped Boston to third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Milwaukee Bucks: 50-20

Philadelphia 76ers: 48-22, 2 GB

Boston Celtics: 49-23, 2 GB

Cleveland Cavaliers: 45-28, 6.5 GB

The Celtics were all alone in first place just a few weeks ago, but they’ve lost six of their last 11 games. Four of those six losses were decided by four or fewer points.

Boston is now in a tough fight for the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference playoffs. How important is the No. 2 seed? Getting it would guarantee the Celtics homecourt advantage in at least the first two rounds of the postseason. The No. 3 seed guarantees you homecourt in only the first round.

The Celtics are a difficult team to beat at TD Garden, where they own the league’s second-best home record at 26-9. The C’s finished the 2021-22 regular season strong and earned the No. 2 seed, which gave them homecourt advantage in the first two rounds. They eliminated the…

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Author : NBC Sports Boston

Publish date : 2023-03-19 04:16:00

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