Things did not start off well tonight for the Celtics. Mike Conley and the Grizzlies had their way with Boston early, torching the C’s for 22 points in the paint and 13 fastbreak points in the 1st quarter. Memphis made it very clear that they were going to push the tempo & be very aggressive. Conley went 5 for 6 & had 10 points in the quarter. Boston looked like perhaps they had an early dose of tryptophan and were down 27-13 after 1Q.
The 2nd quarter was a bit better. After Brad Stevens layed into the boys, (CSNNE said Stevens was “as mad as we’ve seen him”) they tightened things up a bit. Behind the defense of Humphries, Sullinger & Bass, Boston held the Grizz to just 2 points in the paint in the quarter. Avery Bradley started to get it going too-AB had 7 points in the quarter to help Boston score 23 pts for the frame. But unfortunately Memphis got a balanced attack from both their starters & bench and went into the half up 49-36 on the C’s.
The 3rd quarter was pretty much just Boston treading water. Everytime the C’s would get the lead down to 9 or so, the Grizz would push it back to double-digits. The Celtics just could not bail the water out of the boat fast enough. Jerryd Bayless, who is quickly gaining a reputation as a Celtic killer (ugh) had his way with Boston again, putting up 13 points through 3 quarters. The C’s couldn’t get any real rhythm going on offense and went into the final quarter down 69-59.
Boston played their best basketball of the night in the 4th, but it was too little too late. The C’s just never recovered from Memphis’ onslaught in the 1st quarter. The Grizz were simply the more aggressive & more focused team tonight. C’s also failed to move the ball effectively, having just 14 assists on 38 made baskets. Jared Sullinger put Boston on his back, scoring 17 of his 23 points in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough. Memphis wins 100-93. Jerryd Bayless led Memphis with 22 points.
Injury note: Courtney Lee left the game in the second half with what the Celtics are calling a “left knee sprain”. X-rays were negative.
- Sully had a ridiculous 17-point 4th quarter where he went 7 of 10 & also grabbed 6 rebounds. He finished with 23 points.
- I was also impressed with Kris Humphries tonight. He came into the game & quickly helped put a stop to Memphis’ party in the paint with some solid defense. It won’t show in the stat sheet, (8 pts 6 rebs) but I liked what he brought to the table.
- Jeff Green was aggressive, getting to the free-throw line & putting in 26 points.
- Bass was a beast. Brandon grabbed 13 rebounds and had 4 blocks to go with 6 pts.
- Boston’s bigs held Zach Randolph & Kosta Koufos to 8 of 27 shooting
- Boston was 7 of 20 from downtown tonight
- Celtics literally let Memphis walk all over them early on. Grizz scored 22 of their 27 1st Q points in the painted area
- Celtics turned the ball over 15 times
The Grid: (quick stats)
- Celtics actually ended up outscoring Grizz in paint: 48-40
- Memphis took a 4-3 lead with 9:00 left in the 1st & never trailed again