Celtics stave off Grizzlies, win 11th straight
Paul Pierce scored 19 points, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo added 18 apiece and the Boston Celtics won their 11th straight game, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 110-105 on Monday night.
Rasheed Wallace added 15 points, while Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett each scored 13. Rondo had nine of Boston's 25 assists.
Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 23 points and O.J. Mayo had 21. Zach Randolph added 20 for Memphis, which has lost two of three.
The game was tight throughout, with Boston holding its biggest lead at 103-95 after Rondo's layup with 2:49 left. Memphis answered with six straight points, including a pair of baskets from Mayo to get within two with 1:29 to go.
But Garnett's 21-foot jumper from the top of the key stopped the rally, and Allen sealed it for the Celtics by hitting a 3-pointer as the shot clock was running out with 17.5 seconds left.
Officials reviewed Allen's basket to confirm that it was a 3-pointer and occurred before the shot clock expired.
Boston shot 53 percent on the night to Memphis' 51 percent. The Celtics were 10 of 20 from beyond the arc, but the Grizzlies made only one of their 13 long-range shots.
Boston committed 12 turnovers compared to 10 for Memphis.
Marc Gasol scored 15 points for the Grizzlies, while Mike Conley and Sam Young had 11 apiece.
Conley's 16-foot jumper with less than a second left in the first half sent Memphis to the locker room with a 55-54 lead. Gay had 17 points for the Grizzlies, while Mayo scored 11.
Rondo had 12 points for Boston, while Pierce scored 11. The Celtics shot 54 percent in the first two periods.
The Grizzlies scored 52 points in the paint, compared to 46 for Boston.
Boston got effective inside play from Wallace, who had 10 points in the half - most of them when he was guarded by Randolph.
By the end of the third, there had been 14 ties and 18 lead changes. Neither team had led by more than five points.
But the Celtics were able to put some distance between them and the Grizzlies as Memphis appeared to tire late in the third. Allen connected on a 3-pointer with 1:41 left in the quarter, helping Boston carry an 85-81 lead into the fourth.
NOTES: Wallace drew some laughs right before halftime. Memphis coach Lionel Hollins called reserve C Hasheem Thabeet over to draw up a play. Wallace sidled up to the pair, watching and listening to the whole discussion. Boston G Lester Hudson, the only rookie on the Celtics, played college ball at Tennessee-Martin about 140 miles north of Memphis. Hudson has played in 13 games, logging a total of 49 minutes and averaging less than a point per game. He did not play against Memphis. Boston coach Doc Rivers said Hudson will be a good player, but right now he's stuck behind veterans. ``We're going to send him down pretty soon to the NBDL for a week or two to get him some games,'' Rivers said. ``I don't like our young guys going these long stretches without playing. Then we're going to bring him back.''