Celtics late rally falls short
BOSTON — The Memphis Grizzlies, leading virtually the whole game, held off a wild late charge by Boston and ended their two-game losing streak with a 100-93 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night.
The Celtics, down by 13 with 2:40 left, rode a personal 10-2 run by forward Jared Sullinger to get to within five, and it was down to four on forward Jeff Green’s 3-pointer with 21.5 seconds left. A 3-pointer by guard Avery Bradley made it 96-93 with 14.4 seconds remaining.
Guard Jerryd Bayless, who had a season-high 20 points off the bench, hit two free throws with 13 seconds left and hit two more with 2.7 seconds remaining.
The win, which lifted Memphis to 8-7 on the season, ended Boston’s two-game winning streak and completed a season sweep of the Celtics. The Grizzlies won the last four games in the series.
The Grizzlies, playing their second full game without injured center Marc Gasol (out indefinitely with a knee sprain) got 14 points and nine assists from guard Mike Conley; as the Grizzlies won on a night where forward Zach Randolph, their leading scorer, went just 5-for-16 from the floor and scored 13 points to go with seven rebounds. Center Kosta Koufas, starting in place of Gasol, grabbed 13 rebounds.
Sullinger’s late charge, which included a pair of 3-pointers, gave him 23 points and 11 rebounds and Green had 23 points and seven rebounds. Sullinger added 21 points and 10 rebounds, forward Brandon Bass grabbed 13 rebounds, matching his career high, and Bradley had 16 points.
The Celtics (6-11) scored the first basket of the game, a 3-pointer by guard Jordan Crawford, but 3-2 would be their final lead as the Grizzlies went on a 10-2 run to take early control. It was 16-13 when Memphis scored the last 11 points of the first quarter and the first two of the second.
The run grew to 22-6 and the lead grew to 19 points. It was 13 at the break as the Grizzlies shot an even 50 percent in the half.
The Celtics got it down to nine with 5:10 left in the third quarter and the lead was 10 at the end of three. But the visitors scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to all but put it away.
Boston guard Courtney Lee left the game with a left knee injury.
Notes: C Marc Gasol, the 2012-13 NBA defensive player of the year, missed his second consecutive game. He is expected to miss at least four weeks due to a sprained knee. ... Boston rookie F Kelly Olynyk missed his third straight game with an ankle sprain. Celtics F Brandon Bass again started with Olynyk out. Bass shot 12-for-21, scored 33 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in road wins over the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Bobcats. ... The Grizzlies return home to face the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night, while the Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night. ... Celtics F Jeff Green took the microphone before the opening tip, welcoming the fans and wishing the crowd a happy Thanksgiving, adding, “and be safe.”