Celtics Edge Grizzlies On Davis Buzzer-Beater
Boston 99, Memphis 98
BOSTON, Nov. 9 (Ticker) -- If nothing else, the Boston Celtics sure are playing exciting games.
Ricky Davis hit a 17-foot jumper as time expired as the Celtics posted a 99-98 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Memphis, which led by as many as 18 points twice in the second quarter, took the lead on Eddie Jones' jumper from the corner with 13 seconds to play.
The Celtics trailed, 98-97, when Pierce drove the baseline on Jones and was forced under the basket. He made a leaping pass to Davis alone above the foul line. Davis' jumper splashed through the net as time expired.
"I will say this - if we have 82 of these, I don't know if I can take this season," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "That was a great comeback by us because we put ourselves in a hole, got out of it, put ourselves in another hole and got out of it."
"We've been in that situation a couple of times already," Davis said. "It helps us grow as a team. The more you have those close games, the better you are (over) the long season."
It was the second time in nine months that Davis foiled the Grizzlies in Boston. Davis' 14-foot jumper with 3.9 seconds remaining beat Memphis, 90-88, on February 16.
This time, Davis came off two screens and found himself all alone at the free-throw line as the defense collapsed on Pierce.
"He (Pierce) sees the floor so well, I was just sitting over there waiting and ready," Davis said. "You never know what's going to happen, seeing I was wide open and seeing the ball was coming, I had to make the shot."
"I'm so proud of Paul on that last play," Rivers added. "We've worked on that single play for three days in a row now, that exact play. And at the very end, Ricky kept curling up (off a screen) and Paul found him. The guy who makes the shot deserves a lot of the credit, but the guy who makes the pass deserves more. Right after the game, Ricky ran over and said, 'That's why we worked on it every day.' And that's true."
It was the Celtics' first win since an overtime victory over New York in their season opener. They lost to Detroit on Friday a catch-and-shoot buzzer-beater by Richard Hamilton and in overtime to Charlotte on Saturday.
Pierce finished with 29 points, seven rebounds and eight assists and Davis scored 18 points for Boston.
"We've been burned the last two games with close games so we made it a point of emphasis," Pierce said. "We've been working on our plays coming down the stretch and we were able to execute. That was just a great job.
"Every game this season has come down to the wire. It's a must that we keep our poise and work on these things in practice. We got into a situation tonight where we could take advantage of it and we came out on the right end of it."
Jones hit four 3-pointers and scored 20 points and Bobby Jackson added 16 points for Memphis. Pau Gasol was 6-of-16 from the field and had 12 points for the Grizzlies, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"There's always a way (to defend better)," Gasol said. "But it's always hard when it comes to the last five seconds of a game. The tension is high and every decision is critical. We knew Paul Pierce was hot and he was probably going to take the shot and that's why Shane (Battier) left his man to go help on Pierce. Davis made that shot at the last second and things happen that way sometimes."
Memphis did itself no favors by converting only 12-of-26 free throws, which included an 0-for-7 effort by rookie Lawrence Roberts.
"That's not the first time we haven't shot the ball well from the foul line and I would think we would be a good shooting team from the foul line but we didn't tonight," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.
Boston outscored Memphis, 24-17, in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 76-71 heading into the final period.