NBA Game Summary - Memphis at Boston
(Wednesday, March 23rd)
Final Score: Memphis 90, Boston 87
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Zach Randolph finished with 13 points and eight rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies edged the Boston Celtics, 90-87, at TD Garden.
Currently occupying the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, Memphis got a balanced scoring effort.
Former Celtic Leon Powe scored 13 points off the bench while O.J. Mayo, Sam Young and Marc Gasol all scored 11 in the win, Memphis' third straight. Gasol added 11 rebounds.
"This was a team win," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "I just told the guys I said, 'Our bench actually won the game because they went and they were positive both times.'"
Paul Pierce scored a game-high 22 points and Ray Allen added 14, but it wasn't enough to keep Boston from falling a full game behind the Chicago Bulls for the Eastern Conference's top seed.
The Bulls vaulted over Boston thanks to an impressive 114-81 drubbing of the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday and are idle until Friday when they will face the Grizzlies.
Despite trailing 70-67 entering the fourth, the Grizzlies would take an 84-77 advantage thanks to a 10-2 run. Tony Allen, a member of the Celtics from 2004-10, connected on a transition dunk off his own steal to cap the run with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
The Celtics made it a one-possession game thanks to a Glen Davis jumper and Pierce's three-point play but Boston was never able to retake the lead as a Randolph layup widened the Memphis lead to 86-82 on the next possession.
A Pierce three cut the Celtics' deficit to 86-85 and after both teams went cold for the next two minutes, a Gasol layup just over the 1:00 mark put the game at 88-85.
Davis responded with a pullup jumper to keep it close but after a Rajon Rondo miss Mike Conley made a pair from the line to put the Grizzlies up 90-87 with 13.2 seconds remaining.
After a Boston timeout, Davis missed an off-balance three-pointer with 5.9 seconds remaining. Gasol grabbed the rebound and was sent to the line, where he missed both, causing another Celtics timeout.
The Celtics had the ball with 4.2 seconds remaining, and after Boston coach Doc Rivers inserted his best three-pointer shooters, Pierce's shot at the buzzer was off-target, ending the game.
"I thought overall, for the most part we played pretty good defense," Pierce said. "We held them to what, 90 points. Especially Zach Randolph, he has been playing out of his mind. A lot of these guys have been playing well. I thought it was a pretty strong defensive game."
The Grizzlies held a 20-15 lead after a back-and-forth first quarter. However, the Celtics shot 56 percent from the field in the second and took a slim 45-44 lead into the half.
Despite the loss the Celtics are still 29-7 at home...Memphis improved to 15-22 on the road...The teams spilt the two-game season series...Rondo dished out 11 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds while Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green both scored 10 points in the loss... Davis added 12 points and five rebounds.
03/23 23:51:31 ET