The Celtics visited Memphis last night and prevailed with a 116-110 victory, in overtime fashion.
Team captain Paul Pierce scored a game-high 28 points, and Boston’s starting big men (Shaq and KG) contributed 18 points apiece. Rajon Rondo scored 11 points and dished out 17 dimes (all after the first quarter).
For the Grizzlies, Rudy Gay scored 22 points in 49 minutes, and Zach Randolph added 21 points on 10-14 shooting from the field.
This game was tight for all 48 minutes. Pierce (9 points) and Randolph (10 points) impressed in the first quarter, and the two teams finished the opening frame knotted at 27-27.
The battle continued into the second frame, where the Celtics built up an 11 point lead with 2:15 left in the half. However, the Grizzlies were able to close out with a 6-0 run, and entered the break trailing 49-54.
Memphis countered Boston’s second quarter efforts, and fought their way back. The Grizzlies closed the third period on a 7-1 run to even the score at 73-73.
The Celtics, in their usual style, played well through the first 10+ minutes of the final quarter, and took a 99-95 lead on a Ray Allen jumper with 55 seconds left. Predictably, Gay hit a pair of jumpers of his own, Rondo missed a pull-up, and Pierce was unable to get a shot off before the buzzer.
Boston’s lapse in focus didn’t stretch into the overtime period. The Celts scored the first seven points of the five minute OT, and led by as many as nine points. The C’s scored 17 points in overtime, only two less than their third quarter total, and left Memphis with a 116-100 win.
The Celtics have a few days off, but will host the exciting John Wall Wednesday night, when the Wizards visit town. Tipoff is at 7:30 PM.