The Memphis Grizzlies accomplished a rare NBA feat Wednesday night by building an insurmountable lead in the first quarter. Yes, the Celtics made a late run, but it was too little, too late, as Memphis held on for a 100-93 victory.
Memphis charged into TD Garden and attacked the basket with authority to open this contest. It scored its first 20 points of the game in the paint, led by 10 points from point guard Mike Conley. The Celtics simply couldn’t keep the speedy guard out of the lane and he capitalized on his opportunities. In addition to Conley, Tayshaun Prince (six points) and Tony Allen (four points) dropped in buckets in the painted area.
The Grizzlies started the quarter on a run and finished it on a spurt, too. Memphis scored the final 11 points of the first to take a 27-13 lead into the second frame. It maintained that double-digit lead for nearly the entirety of the night, as the Grizzlies led by 10 points heading into both the third and fourth quarters.
“The difference in the game was the first quarter, right?” Brad Stevens said after the game. “Even when we were down with 15 with three minutes to go, that was the difference in the game.”
Boston, though, refused to go down without a fight. Jared Sullinger (two 3s), Jeff Green (one trey) and Avery Bradley (one trey) combined to hit four 3-pointers in the final 1:43 of the game. Sullinger himself accounted for 10 points during those 103 seconds, all of which were scored consecutively.
Credit must be given to the Grizzlies for coming up clutch when they needed to. They shot 10-of-10 from the line over the final 38.9 seconds to ice their win.
Key Box Score Line
Jared Sullinger was pretty good over the first 46 minutes of Wednesday night’s game, but he was great over the final two minutes.
The final two minutes of the game featured a stretch in which Sullinger scored 10 consecutive points and grabbed three rebounds in a span of just 75 seconds. That personal run gave Boston a legitimate chance to win a game that had previously been a blowout.
Sullinger’s impressive stretch helped him log the second double-double of his season and the sixth of his career. He finished the contest with 23 points to go along with 12 rebounds. Sullinger shot 10-of-18 from the field and 2-of-3 from long range while playing exactly 35 minutes.
Box Score Nuggets
- Brandon Bass tied for the game high in rebounds with 13 and also blocked a game-high four shots
- Four of Boston's five starters finished with a positive plus/minus rating despite the team trailing by double-digits for the majority of the contest.
- Jeff Green scored a game-high 26 points.
- The Celtics totaled just 14 assists.
- Memphis attempted only nine 3-pointers, three of which were made.
- The Grizlies led by as many as 19 points in the game.
- Jared Sullinger played exactly 35 minutes and finished with 23 points and 12 boards.
- Sullinger scored 10 consecutive points during one stretch of the the fourth quarter.
- Jerryd Bayless scorched the Celtics for the second time this season, this time dropping in a team-high 22 points off the bench.
- Memphis' first 20 points of the game were scored in the paint.
- The Grizzlies committed just 10 turnovers.
Quote of the Night
I don’t think he shoots enough of them, and I’ve said that all year. Brad Stevens on Jared Sullinger's 3-point shooting. Sullinger shot 2-of-3 from long range Wednesday nightMore quotes >>