It’s taking the Boston Celtics longer than they’d hoped to earn
first-year coach Brad Stevens his first NBA win.
Getting it Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies would also
avoid the franchise’s first 0-4 start since 1969.
The Celtics (0-3) fell 87-77 Sunday at Detroit after momentarily
overcoming a 15-point second-half deficit. They grabbed a two-point
lead with a 13-0 run, but the Pistons responded with 10 straight
points for a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“We just have to get better,” Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk told
the team’s official website. “They capitalized on their chances.
They’re big and strong. Those bigs they have are really, really
good. We cut it close a couple of times, but that’s not good enough
when you play in this league. We’re getting better and hopefully we
can string together a couple of wins.”
Olynyk led the Celtics with 15 points and eight rebounds off the
bench while Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford scored 13 apiece.
“I thought we saw a lot of good things out of Kelly O,” Stevens
said. “We saw a lot of good things out of Avery Bradley tonight
even though he turned it over some. I thought he played really hard
and kind of got back to who he really is.”
They’re certainly missing point guard Rajon Rondo, who continues
to recover from a torn right ACL. A 24-turnover night upped their
league-worst average to 21.0 per game.
Poor 3-point shooting has also contributed to the slow start.
Boston was 3 of 16 from long range against the Pistons and is
shooting 22.2 percent this season.
They’ve also been outrebounded 51-33 on the offensive glass.
The Grizzlies (1-2) are coming off Saturday’s 111-99 loss at
Dallas. They trailed by 21 in the first half but stayed close with
a 17-2 run before the break.
“We fought back into the game,” Marc Gasol said. “We just didn’t
convert enough baskets to get to a tie game or ahead.”
Mike Conley scored 24, Gasol had 23 and Zach Randolph added 21
as the trio combined for 68 of the team’s 99 points.
Conley is averaging 20.0 points through three games after
turning in a career-high 14.6 in 2012-13. He’s averaging 11.7 in 11
career games against the Celtics.
The Grizzlies also struggled from 3-point range, going 3 of
They sent the Mavericks to the line 46 times and turned the ball
over 18 times after committing 20 turnovers Friday against
“The turnovers – 18 – that’s like 4 too many,” Grizzlies coach
David Joerger said. “Because you’re down 10 (points), OK, you got
to 7 and then you make a mistake and it bounces back to 11 or
The Grizzlies won both meetings against the Celtics last season.
Jerryd Bayless led seven players in double figures with 30 points
in a 110-106 victory March 23, ending a five-game home losing
streak in the series.