After a slow start, the Utah Jazz took over in the second quarter and didn't look back, pulling away for a 100-82 win over the Boston Celtics Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Rodney Hood posted a double-double with a team-high 23 points?including 15 in the fourth quarter alone?and 10 rebounds, while Danté Exum added 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in the win.
Jack Cooley finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.
Boston's Marcus Smart led all scorers with 26 points in the loss. Jordan Mickey (16 points), C.J. Fair (12) and James Young (12) also scored in double figures for the Celtics.
Exum took over on three straight Jazz possessions midway through the second quarter. First, he drove hard down the lane and?instead of pulling up for a floater?took it straight to the rim. He missed the layup attempt but was fouled, and he swished both free throws. He pulled up and hit nothing but net on a three from the top of the key the next time down the court, and then he capped off the sequence by cutting to the hoop, taking a backdoor pass from Hood and putting in a reverse layup. Danté's aggressiveness keyed a 31-12 Jazz run to close the second quarter.
Exum was at the center of everything Utah did Monday night. Taking it coast to coast for a layup while being fouled. Throwing down a two-handed dunk off an inbounds pass. Going 9-for-10 from the free-throw line. Dishing to Cooley for an uncontested dunk. Swinging it to Hood for a wide-open three.
And then ... he drove the basket with just under two minutes left, landed awkwardly and crumpled to the floor. The arena went from euphoria to silence in a matter of seconds. After pounding the floor with his fist and remaining down for a minute or so, Exum limped off the floor with the help of two Jazz trainers. He was diagnosed with a sprained ankle and will be evaluated tomorrow.
The Jazz owned the boards, outrebounding the Celtics 51-31. Cooley (13 rebounds), Hood (10), Brock Motum (eight) and Chris Johnson (six) led the Jazz.
Quote of the Night
"Marcus Smart came out hard tonight, and I think the best thing about Danté is that he kept fighting. The big thing with him is to try to be aggressive and attack the basket, which he did a good job of once he settled down. ... We want him to be a leader, and this a great opportunity to do it vocally. When we need a bucket he can be the one who's aggressive, and he got to the free-throw line a lot tonight."
- Alex Jensen, Utah's summer league head coach
Rookie Olivier Hanlan drilled his first shot as a pro?a 3-pointer from the top of the key?late in the second quarter. ... Bryce Cotton sank a running 3-pointer to beat the second-quarter buzzer, giving Utah a 51-40 lead at the half. ... Grant Jerrett left the game in the third quarter with a dislocated right shoulder. He had six points (on two 3-pointers) up to that point.
Both teams will play again on Tuesday night. The Jazz will face the San Antonio Spurs at 7 p.m. MT, while the Celtics will take on the Philadelphia 76ers at 5 p.m.