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Reply To: NBA • Friday Service Plays • 2/19/16

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Preview: Boston At Utah

When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, February 19, 2016
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

The Boston Celtics were quiet at the trade deadline Thursday, and with the way the team has come together over the past month, that might be a good thing. “It’s time to go now,” forward Jae Crowder told reporters as the team prepared to visit Utah on Friday night. “It’s time to roll. We’re all locked in, we’re all a close-knit group, as you guys know.”

The Celtics were rumored to be in on several big names as they looked to build off an impressive run that has them in third place in the Eastern Conference coming out of the All-Star break. Boston’s dramatic 139-134 overtime win against the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the break is part of a 10-2 surge and just one of its next eight opponents – including the Jazz – had a winning record as play resumed Thursday. Utah will be hard-pressed to match the Celtics’ energy after being forced to play in Washington on Thursday in the make-up of a game postponed earlier in the season. The Jazz had 23 turnovers in a 103-89 loss to the Wizards, their second straight defeat following a seven-game winning streak.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, CSN New England (Boston), ROOT (Utah)

ABOUT THE CELTICS (32-23): While most of the buzz around Boston has been positive, it was dealt a blow during the break when reserve big man Kelly Olynyk was hit with a shoulder injury that will sideline him for at least a couple of weeks. Olynyk was a big factor in the Celtics’ recent success, shooting 47-of-99 from 3-point range during December and January. Isaiah Thomas poured in 36 points in the win over the Clippers before making his first All-Star Game appearance in Toronto, and he had 19 second-half points in a one-point win over Utah in the previous meeting last March.

ABOUT THE JAZZ (26-27): Utah’s only action before the trade deadline was its inclusion in a three-team deal that brought veteran guard Shelvin Mack to Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, the Jazz welcomed guard Trey Burke back to the fold in Thursday’s loss after he had missed three games due to an illness. The third-year pro struggled from the floor, finishing with two points on 1-of-8 shooting, but handed out a team-high seven assists.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. After holding eight straight opponents under 100 points, the Jazz have allowed an average of 107.3 over their last three contests.

2. Celtics C Jared Sullinger is averaging 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 24.3 minutes over a three-game span.

3. Boston entered Thursday’s action leading the NBA with 89.5 shot attempts per game, while Utah ranked 29th with 80.5.

PREDICTION: Celtics 105, Jazz 101