Notebook: Grizzlies 93, Celtics 83



Posted Jan 2, 2013 11:44 PM

Brian Robb, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Mike Conley scored 22 points and dished out nine assists, helping the Memphis Grizzlies hold off a late charge from the Boston Celtics and escape the TD Garden with a 93-83 win. Rudy Gay added 19 points for the visitors in a balanced offensive effort featuring five players scoring double figures, which helped Memphis to build an 18-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

Boston managed to fight back from the deficit over the game's 10 closing minutes, but it was too little too late, as they dropped their fourth straight contest, despite the return of Avery Bradley to the lineup for the first time all season. Paul Pierce had a team-high 17 points in the setback.

QUOTABLE: "It was a very gratifying win because we got back to playing our brand of basketball. We played with great focus and confidence and it looked a lot like what we've been working on through the year. We were able to withstand whatever run they made."

-- Memphis coach Lionel Hollins

THE STAT: Memphis broke out of its offensive funk from the past few games early against the Celtics, shooting a sensational 61.1 percent in the first half on 22-for-36 shooting. The high percentage offense allowed the visitors to build a nine-point halftime lead.

TURNING POINT: After the Celtics closed an 18-point deficit to five with 4:22 remaining, Memphis leaned on its league-best defense to end the threat, holding Boston scoreless over the next three minutes before finishing the game on an 11-5 run.

QUOTABLE II: "I told them whatever we're doing wrong, it's not going to get fixed in a day. We just need to keep playing."

-- Celtics coach Doc Rivers on what he told his team after their fourth straight loss

HOT: Tony Allen -- The former Celtic started off the night perfect from the field, as he hit his first six shots against his ex-teammates on a variety of strong takes and perimeter jumpers. Allen tallied 15 points on the evening altogether, seven above his season average.

NOT: Kevin Garnett -- Despite seeing a variety of open looks from mid-range, Garnett could not get anything going on the offensive end early, missing eight of his first 10 shots. The veteran scored just four points over the first three quarters, before coming alive in the final period to finish with 12 on the evening.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Gay -- Memphis' top scorer provided the Grizzlies with a little bit of everything on the floor against Boston, posting six rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal to go along with 19 points over 35 minutes of action.

ROOKIE WATCH: Jared Sullinger -- The power forward battled foul trouble for the majority of the night and was unable to be a weapon on the offensive end against the formidable Grizz front line of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. Sullinger missed five of his six shots to finish with two points, but managed to grab five rebounds before fouling out in the final two minutes of the game.

QUOTABLE III: ""It felt good to be out there. I'm just trying to play as hard as I can, and I feel like everything's going to come together as a team. I feel like we played hard tonight."

-- Bradley on his season debut for Boston

NOTABLE: Jerryd Bayless left the game in the first quarter after suffering a sprained ankle. He did not return. ... Darrell Arthur made the first two 3-pointers of his career. Arthur had been 0-for-13 over his four-year career prior to the game. ... Bradley started and scored four points in 26 minutes in his first game of the season for Boston. The third-year guard had been recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. ... The defeat was the fourth straight loss by double-digits for Boston. ... Rajon Rondo played 39 minutes despite battling a sore right hip which sidelined him for the team's practice on Tuesday. ... Pierce had 15 of his 17 points in the first half. ... Conley played a season-high 43 minutes.

UP NEXT: For Memphis, Friday vs. Portland, Sunday @ Phoenix, Monday @ Sacramento. For Boston, Friday vs. Indiana, Saturday @ Atlanta, Monday @ New York.