Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 116, Grizzlies 110

Ford Keys to the Game

Celtics 116, Grizzlies 110

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Mike Conley, Kevin Garnett

Mike Conley avoids Kevin Garnett's attempt at a block Saturday night as he puts up a layup attempt in the paint.
Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

It wasn’t easy, but the Celtics were able to wrap up their season-long, four-game road trip with a 3-1 record after knocking off the Memphis Grizzlies 116-110 in overtime Saturday night.

That “overtime” word will give you an idea of just how tough it really was.

Boston and Memphis battled it out for the 48 minutes of regulation tonight and neither team was able to pull away for an extended period of time. But if you believed the trend of even play would continue into overtime, the Celtics were prepared to prove you wrong.

Both teams managed to shoot better than 53.0 percent from the floor in tonight's game, but the Celtics turned up the heat at the defensive end of the court when the overtime session began. They turned the heat up so much, in fact, that Memphis couldn’t muster up a single point for the first 3:08 of overtime. In that time span, Boston forced the Griz to miss four straight jump shots, all of which came from at least 12 feet from the basket. That stretch of perfect defense, combined with three big shots at the other end of the floor, helped seal the deal for the C’s.

Glen Davis opened up the extra session with a beautiful shot as he spun toward the middle of the lane off of the right block. His swish was followed up by a perfect 3-pointer from none other than Ray Allen. Rajon Rondo’s made jumper at the 2:09 mark, in which he stopped on a dime at the left elbow and rose up for the shot, gave Boston a comfortable seven-point cushion. Six free throws down the stretch (four from Paul Pierce, two from Allen) put the game on ice for Boston.

Key Box Score Line

In just his second game back after missing five straight contests with a bruised right knee, Shaquille O’Neal looked like he was in his mid-20s again during the 20 minutes he spent on the court Saturday night. Shaq finished the game with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, which included numerous slams that nearly took down the backboard, and added six rebounds as well. At the free-throw line, where O’Neal typically struggles, he was able to sink four of his five attempts. He finished the game with a plus-12 in the plus/minus category, which was the highest number of any player on either team.

Box Score Nuggets

  • The Celtics assisted on 32 of their 45 made field goals. Rajon Rondo led the team, and game, with 17 dimes (12 of which came in the second half).
  • Paul Pierce scored a game-high 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor and 9-of-9 from the free-throw line.
  • Boston grabbed only 32 rebounds to Memphis' 38.
  • The teams combined to grab 21 steals (12 for Boston, nine for Memphis).
  • Glen Davis, Rondo and former Celtic Tony Allen tied for the game-high in steals with three apiece.
  • Rondo (11 points, 17 assists) and Zach Randolph (21 points, 11 rebounds) were the only players to record double-doubles.
  • All 10 starters scored in double figures.
  • Mike Conley committed a game-high six turnovers.
  • Shaquille O'Neal had his best game as a Celtic with 18 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes of playing time.
  • Kevin Garnett led Boston with nine rebounds. He also scored 18 points.
  • The Celtics committed six less turnovers (11) than the Grizzlies (17), but Memphis managed to score more points (22) off turnovers than Boston did (19).
  • The Celtics shot 57.7 percent from the floor, while the Grizzlies made 53.0 percent of their shots.
  • Both teams finished with five blocked shots.
  • Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 22 points, including their final four of regulation to force overtime.

Quote of the Night

Kevin Garnett on tonight's game: "What’s crazy is these games are like a boxing match. First couple of quarters, we were feeling each other out. I felt like as the game went, we got into a nice rhythm. Then we were able to slow some of their offense down. In overtime we knew we wanted to run it, and we executed."