Hayward led the Jazz with 26 points in his third game back after missing 10 with a sprained right shoulder. Paul Millsap scored 16 points, while Al Jefferson notched another double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Williams broke free of a dreadful stretch by scoring 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
In 32 minutes, Alec Burks was held to eight points on 4-of-10 shooting, but his left-handed basket with 19.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter tied the game at 97. The play capped a disastrous possession in which the Jazz wasted an opportunity to go two-for-one when a wayward pass nearly went out of bounds before Millsap sent it back inbounds to Gordon Hayward, who drove and found Burks.
Just like they drew it up, right?
“I’m proud of our guys,” coach Tyrone Corbin said, “they fought down the stretch.”
The Jazz led 53-48 at halftime, but were outscored 32-19 in the third quarter. By overtime, though, they had seemingly seized control of the flow of the game. They led 101-99 after a 21-foot jump shot by Carroll with 2:48 remaining.
Then Pierce took over. With Carroll in his face, he buried a 3-pointer. After Millsap missed on the other end and Pierce rebounded, he made a jumper. Then another.
It was 106-101 by then, and the Jazz were grappling to stay in the game.
They had the ball down three points with 13.8 seconds left after a shot-clock violation by the Celtics, but the Jazz failed to get a good shot and settled for free throws when Millsap was fouled. After two free throws by Courtney Lee, the Jazz had a final shot with 1.2 seconds left.
Randy Foye, who was inserted for the final two possessions, was within two 3-pointers of the team-record 129 in a season. Jefferson set a screen that freed Foye from Lee, but when Foye received the ball, he was off-balance and shot a harmless 26-footer that missed everything.
“He caught it, turned and shot it right at the rim,” Corbin said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t go in.”
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