NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 23rd
(All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (36-32) at Memphis Grizzlies (46-22), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Both the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies will try to
shake off disappointing losses on Friday when the two teams meet Saturday at
On Friday, the Celtics fell to the Dallas Mavericks in Big D, 104-94, and the
Grizzlies lost in New Orleans to the Hornets, 90-83.
This late in the season, any loss has an impact on playoff positioning and
these teams both felt the sting when they looked at the standings Saturday
The Celtics fell into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but only trail
the Chicago Bulls by a half-game for the sixth spot. Boston is only a 1 1/2
games behind the Atlanta Hawks for fifth.
The Grizzles' loss was more significant due to the high quality of the Western
Conference and the fluidity of spots 3-5. Memphis fell to fifth, a half-game
behind the Los Angeles Clippers for fourth and a full game behind the surging
Denver Nuggets for third.
On Friday, Memphis nearly overcame a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit, but fell
to the Hornets when the Grizz only shot 34 percent in the second half in the
"We were just trying to make shots," said Memphis guard Mike Conley. "We were
trying to speed the game up and get more opportunities; get into the paint and
get more free throw opportunities. We did not do these things well and did not
get back in the game."
Conley paced the Grizzlies with 20 points, while Marc Gasol (16), Zach
Randolph (14) and Jerryd Bayless (12) also scored in double figures.
The Grizzlies had a two-game winning streak snapped, but they've lost their
last three away from home.
The Celtics have dropped three in a row overall, including their last two on
On Friday, Boston fell behind by nine after the first quarter and never really
recovered. The Celtics have now lost four straight away from Boston and what
ailed them on Friday was once their calling card.
"Defensively right now, we're not getting it done," Celtics guard Jason Terry
said. "Give them credit, they spread us out."
Terry returned to Dallas, where he spent eight seasons before joining the
Celtics in the offseason. He only managed eight points on 3-for-9 shooting
from the field.
Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett all had 16 points, while Garnett
grabbed 12 rebounds and Bass 11.
Guard Courtney Lee tweaked his ankle late in the game and didn't return. His
availability for Saturday is unknown.
The Celtics, who are 2-11 on the road against Western Conference teams, have
actually won eight of their last 10 in Memphis. The Grizzlies defeated the
Celtics in Boston on Jan. 2, 93-83.
03/23 10:33:36 ET
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