Friday, March 7, 2014
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Jerryd Bayless scored a season-high 30 points and the Memphis Grizzlies weathered a fourth-quarter rally by Boston’s reserves to escape with a 110-106 victory over the Celtics on Saturday night.
Seven Memphis players finished in double figures and three recorded double-doubles. Darrell Arthur, starting for Zach Randolph, scored 18 points, while Randolph had 15 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Tayshaun Prince and Mike Conley had 12 points apiece, Conley adding 10 assists, Ed Davis scored 11 points, and Tony Allen added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Conley also had four steals, while Davis blocked five shots.
Paul Pierce led Boston with 26 points, while Jordan Crawford keyed a fourth-quarter rally, scoring 14 of his 21 points in the final frame. Jeff Green finished with 10 points, and Jason Terry had 10, as the Celtics suffered their fourth straight loss.
Both teams played without key players. Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee both sat out for Boston with left ankle sprains. Memphis center Marc Gasol is out indefinitely because of an abdominal tear.
And, if the injuries weren’t enough, Randolph didn’t start for disciplinary reasons, apparently because he arrived late for Saturday’s shootaround.
Memphis led 98-77 with 7:16 to play after a 3-point play by Conley. Pierce had gone to the bench with his fifth foul, and Boston coach Doc Rivers had the reserves in, seemingly to play out the final minutes.
But the reserves began a push that pulled Boston within 104-102 after two free throws by Crawford with 18.9 seconds left.
The Celtics were never got closer as Memphis converted all six of its free throws in the final 18.5 seconds.
Memphis, which led by 10 at the intermission, continued to extend the lead in the third, going up by 15 points on several occasions in the middle stages.
As is usually the case with the Grizzlies, defense led to offensive spurts and Memphis forced a handful of Boston turnovers while controlling the pace and eventually leading by 17.
But the Celtics were able to close the third with a bit of a push to trail 85-73 at the end of the period.
Memphis opened the fourth with a 14-4 rally, and the lead reached 21.
But the Celtics reserves weren’t ready to give in. They crafted a 21-4 run to get within 102-98 after Crawford’s long 3-pointer with 1:14 left in the game.
Memphis carried a 61-51 lead into halftime, led by 20 from Bayless, who was 8 of 12 from the field, including missing only one of three shots from beyond the arc.
Pierce had 13 for the Celtics.
Both teams had a handful of turnovers, and while the Grizzlies connected on only one of their first seven shots, they finished the half at 56 percent.
The Celtics were at 49 percent.
Notes: Gasol initially suffered the abdominal injury on March 6 against the Portland Trail Blazers. In recent games he had not jumped center to start the game in hopes of not aggravating the injury. . Bayless got a technical in the second quarter when he fouled Crawford on a layup, then pushed him in an after-basket skirmish. . Rivers got a technical foul in the fourth after Pierce was called for a double dribble. . Rivers said he wasn’t sure when Garnett injured his ankle. “I don’t know if he hurt it in the game (Friday) night, or if it has been a couple of games.” . Boston had won five straight in Memphis, the last Grizzlies home win in the series coming on March 14, 2006.