BOSTON – Shaquille O’Neal left in the first quarter and his trip to Washington for today’s game was canceled. The thought of it left Kevin Garnett shaking his head in exasperation.

“It’s like a soap opera,” Garnett said. “You’ve got to be ready on this team. You never know who’s going to go down.”

Garnett scored 21 points to lead the Boston Celtics to their fifth straight win, 110-86 over the Utah Jazz on Friday night despite losing O’Neal for most of the game and at least one more.

Paul Pierce added 20 points, Rajon Rondo had 12 assists and Semih Erden scored a career-high 14 points filling in after O’Neal was sidelined.

Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said the 38-year-old O’Neal’s hip “locked up” in the first three minutes and he would not play against the Wizards. He already has missed nine games with injuries, even though Rivers has tried to manage his minutes.

The Celtics are already without Kendrick Perkins, who has not returned after tearing knee ligaments during the NBA finals, and Jermaine O’Neal is out another month with his injured left knee.

Rivers started Erden, a rookie from Turkey, in the second half so he could be on the floor with Garnett and the rest of the starters.

“We’re probably going to need him, probably over the next couple of games,” Rivers said. “It forces you to play harder when you play with that group because Kevin’s out there and he demands it.”

Glen Davis scored 15 for Boston, which scored the last 11 points of the first half and never led by fewer than 17 in the second.

Deron Williams had a season-low five points for the Jazz, who have lost three in a row. He made just one basket and ended a string of 48 straight regular-season games of double-digit scoring.

“I was ready to get out there and play today. If I could have just got a chance, maybe could have done something,” said Williams, who had a stomach ailment on Wednesday and missed the pregame shootaround before playing against New Jersey. “But I didn’t have a rhythm early.

“Two quick fouls — two quick calls, I should say — took me out of my game and I really couldn’t recover.”

Williams, Utah’s scoring leader at 22.1 per game, took just four shots and played a season-low 23 minutes, picking up his second foul with eight minutes left in the first quarter and his third with seven minutes left in the half. He didn’t score at all until 8:28 remained in the third quarter.

Earl Watson scored 12 for Utah, and Paul Millsap, Gordon Hayward and Andrei Kirilenko each had 11.

The three-game losing streak, following losses at Washington and New Jersey, is the longest of the season for the Jazz. The losses to the Wizards and Nets, two of the worst teams in the NBA, were relatively close; Friday’s game against the Celtics never really was.

“You can see why they’ve been so good,” Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan said. “They’ve got guys that can get up and do that. If you’re going to compete against them, you’d better be able to take it and like it and get up and do it yourself.”

Boston scored seven of the first nine points and led by 16 later in the first quarter. After allowing Utah to score nine straight points to close the gap to seven, the Celtics scored the last 11 of the half and took a 59-41 lead.