Grizzlies down sliding Celtics
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Mike Conley paced Memphis with 23 points and Rudy Gay followed with 19 to help push the Grizzlies past the Boston Celtics, 93-83, at TD Garden on Wednesday.
In addition to his game-high scoring effort, Conley dished out nine assists and former Celtic Tony Allen contributed 15 points for Memphis, which bounced back after losing at Indiana on Monday.
"Ball movement was great and we played with great focus and confidence and it looked a lot like what we've been working on through the course of the year," said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. "We were able to withstand whatever run they made."
Marreese Speights and Darrell Arthur each posted 10 points off the bench in the victory.
With the loss, the reeling Celtics fell three games below .500 and have dropped four straight for the first time this season. Paul Pierce netted 17 points and Rajon Rondo tallied a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.
"Its hard to be confident when you're struggling," said Pierce. "The good thing about it is we're staying positive about this stretch. It's a tough stretch for us obviously and we know we're going to get through it."
Kevin Garnett chipped in 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists in defeat.
Sidelined by offseason shoulder surgery, Avery Bradley made his season debut for the Celtics. He started but scored only four points in just under 20 minutes of action.
After a poor finish in the third quarter, the Celtics fell behind by 18 early in the fourth following back-to-back jumpers from Speights, giving Memphis a 79-61 advantage.
Boston was able to close the gap to five after Garnett's three-point play sparked a 15-5 run, which Jason Terry capped with consecutive triples to make it 83-78 with 4:52 remaining, but they scored just two more baskets the rest of the way.
Memphis, which converted 17-of-22 from the free throw line for the game, scored its final 10 points at the charity stripe to seal the victory.
After trailing most of the first quarter, the Celtics grabbed their first lead with 14 seconds left in the period on a Courtney Lee finger roll to take a 26-25 edge into the second.
The Grizzlies responded in the second, however, and grabbed an advantage they would not relinquish.
After knocking down a triple to put Memphis back on top 34-33, Arthur drained another less than two minutes later to extend the margin to six.
Allen and Conley each scored on layups near the end of the quarter to give Memphis a 50-41 lead heading into the third, where they broke them game open.
Gay's 3-pointer early in the stanza built the Grizzlies' advantage up to double-digits. Memphis led by at least 10 points the entire quarter and eventually took a 16-point cushion into the fourth following Conley's triple to make it 75-59.
Coming in, Boston had taken eight of the previous 10 meetings with the Grizzlies ... Grizzlies' Jerryd Bayless left the contest at the end of the first quarter with an ankle injury and did not return ... The Celtics, who came in as the worst rebounding team in the league, were outrebounded 39-27 for the game.