Donovan Mitchell scored 20 points as the Utah Jazz bounced back from a run of disappointing recent outings with a battling 117-109 road victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
Utah arrived at Boston’s TD Garden still smarting from a 12-point loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, a fourth defeat in six games for the Western Conference leaders.
However after a sluggish start on Tuesday, which saw the Celtics race into an 11-point lead midway through the first quarter, normal service resumed as Utah asserted themselves late on.
A 40-point fourth quarter wrapped up a morale-boosting victory which saw the Jazz improve to 29-10 at the top of the Western Conference.
While Mitchell led the scoring for Utah, Jordan Clarkson provided an invaluable stint off the bench with 20 points — including five three-pointers — in just over 30 minutes on court.
Clarkson said Utah had been determined to regroup after Sunday’s defeat to the Warriors.
“This is our last big road trip, and after losing that one to the Warriors we just wanted to come back and get something tonight,” Clarkson said. “We’re just trying to string these wins together.
“We know we can handle our business at home, but on the road we’ve got to take everything into account, do all the small things well, and that’s going to help us win.”
Point guard Mike Conley had 17 points and French international Rudy Gobert added 16 points with 12 rebounds for Utah.
Jayson Tatum led the Boston scoring with 29 points while Jaylen Brown added 28 as the Celtics fell to 20-19 to remain in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Elsewhere Tuesday, the New York Knicks pushed the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 76ers all the way before losing their road game 99-96.
The Knicks, who ran the second-placed Brooklyn Nets close on Monday, led for long periods but were overpowered in the fourth quarter as the Sixers outscored their opponents 26-14.
Tobias Harris led the Sixers scoring with 30 points while Ben Simmons had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Seth Curry had 20 points as Philadelphia improved to 27-12.
Julius Randle and Alec Burks led the New York scorers with 19 points apiece.
In Miami meanwhile, Jimmy Butler had 28 points as the Heat extended their winning streak to five games with a comfortable 113-98 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Miami improved to 22-18 with the win to remain in fourth place in the Eastern table.