Pierce scores 30, West gets 22 in Celtics' victory

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Paul Pierce was perfect in the third quarter, and his teammates weren't far off.

Pierce scored 30 and the Celtics missed just one shot in a dominant third quarter while rallying to beat the Utah Jazz 103-83 Tuesday, ending a seven-game road losing streak.

"We got it going. I was feeling good," said Pierce, who made all six of his shots in the third quarter and matched Utah's total for the period with 17 points. "I think the guys were feeding off of what I was doing on offense."

The Celtics were 12-for-13 in the period while outscoring Utah 37-17.

Delonte West added 22 points, scoring 10 during a 12-2 run that got the Celtics within 47-43 at halftime.

"I thought Delonte's offensive explosion got us back in the game. That was something we needed," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.

Michael Olowokandi added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Boston, which hadn't won on the road since beating Atlanta on Jan. 10. Olowokandi also had to help carry teammate Wally Szczerbiak from the floor after a scary moment early in the game.

Szczerbiak collided with Utah's Milt Palacio in the lane and dropped to the floor for several minutes in obvious pain. The Celtics said the knee was just bruised and Szczerbiak could play Wednesday at Phoenix.

"When Wally went down, you could tell everyone's heads went down a little bit, too," Rivers said.

Boston fell behind by 14 before rallying late in the second quarter and dominating the third. Utah scored just 36 in the second half.

"The defense in the second half was phenomenal," Rivers said. "They switched. They talked. They communicated. That was absolutely incredible."

Andrei Kirilenko scored 17 points and Carlos Boozer pulled down 10 rebounds in his first home game in more than a year. Mehmet Okur and Palacio added 15 points apiece for the Jazz, who shot just 25-for-74.

"They just waxed our ears back pretty good," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "In the first half, we looked like we were pretty casual about it."

The Celtics' final game before the All-Star break was a loss to Cleveland in two overtimes on Feb. 15, when Pierce scored a career-high 50 points.

Pierce had only 11 points at halftime, then led the Celtics through a nearly perfect third quarter. The Celtics finished 36-for-62 from the floor.

Pierce gave Boston its first lead, 54-53, on a 3-pointer and outscored Utah 9-2 by himself during one stretch. He had his sixth straight game with at least 30 points.

"I don't know if we got tired or what. We just turned it off," Utah's Deron Williams said. "We had a pretty substantial lead and just rotted away."

Keith McLeod, who scored 10 points, had a chance to tie it for Utah when he was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer, but he went just 1-for-3 from the line. Boston still led 63-61, then closed the period with a 17-3 run.

Olowokandi made a hook shot to start the run, Pierce hit four straight free throws and West made another 3-pointer. The Celtics were never threatened again.

Boozer, who missed the first half of the season with a strained hamstring and the last half of last season with a foot injury, received more cheers than boos when he entered in the first quarter.

"It was a great reception," Boozer said.

Game notes
Boozer had six rebounds in the second. ... Rivers was called for a technical with 3:45 left in the second quarter.