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Kyrie Irving helps Celtics pull away to beat Grizzlies

  • Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) dunks the ball ahead of Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans (12) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) Brandon Dill

  • Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens calls to players in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) Brandon Dill

  • Memphis Grizzlies interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff calls to players from the sideline in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) Brandon Dill

  • Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier, left, shoots against Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) Brandon Dill

  • Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum dunks the ball in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) Brandon Dill

  • Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes, left, guard Jaylen Brown (7), and guard Marcus Smart (36) react after guard Terry Rozier, right, scored in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) Brandon Dill

  • Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) controls the ball against Memphis Grizzlies guard Andrew Harrison (5) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) Brandon Dill

  • Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyreke Evans (12) passes the ball against Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill) Brandon Dill



Associated Press
Sunday, December 17, 2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Kyrie Irving scored 20 points, Jayson Tatum had 19 points and nine rebounds and the Boston Celtics pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 102-93 on Saturday night.

Al Horford added 15 points for Boston. The Celtics shot 49 percent, including 14 of 30 (46.7 percent) from outside the arc.

Marc Gasol led Memphis with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Tyreke Evans added 25 points, and Dillon Brooks had with 14 points, hitting a season-best four 3-pointers.

After Memphis used a 21-point third quarter by Gasol to take a 73-71 lead after three, the Celtics opened the final frame with the first 16 points for an 87-73 lead. That put the game out of reach as Memphis lost its 17th in the last 19.

Gasol got untracked in the early part of the third, scoring 10 points before the midway point of the frame. That pulled Memphis even with the Celtics.

And then Gasol kept scoring, converting 8 of 10 shots and tallying 21 points in the frame.

That helped Memphis take a 73-71 lead heading to the fourth. But the Grizzlies couldn’t maintain the momentum missing its first seven shots as Boston rebuilt the lead to double digits.

The Celtics shot well early, hanging around 60 percent through the early stages of the second quarter. That, combined with missing only two of their first seven shots from outside the arc, helped the Boston margin swell to 21 points.

Memphis would make a bit of a dent in the lead, mainly behind its reserves. The Celtics still maintained a 48-40 lead at intermission.

Tip-ins

Celtics: Rookie F Daniel Theis, who broke his nose in Friday’s loss to Utah, was back in action against the Grizzlies, wearing a mask. ... Tatum, who entered the game, leading the league in 3-point shooting at 50 percent (48-96), made both of his shots from outside the arc in the game.

Grizzlies: The Celtics outscored Memphis 31-12 in the first quarter, marking the 14th time in the last 18 games that the Grizzlies were outscored in a quarter by at least nine points. ... Gasol’s 21 points in the third were one shy of a Memphis record for points in a quarter.

Up next

Celtics: At Indiana on Monday night

Grizzlies: At Golden State on Wednesday night.