Regardless of struggling for a lot of the night time, the Celtics had been capable of pull out one other clutch win, 102-100, this time towards the Memphis Grizzlies. The win marks their sixth in a row and improves their file to a league-best 11-2.
The Celtics performed removed from their finest basketball, committing a whopping 8 offensive fouls and ending the sport with 17 turnovers, 8 of which got here from Jayson Tatum.
The Jays struggled general — Tatum had 20 factors, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, however was quiet for a lot of the night time, whereas Jaylen Brown had 12 factors, 6 rebounds, and three assists, however shot simply 5-16 from the sector.
With Brown and Tatum struggling, Kristaps Porzingis saved the Celtics in entrance, ending the night time with 26 factors, 8 rebounds, and 6 (!!) blocks. He additionally scored the final 4 factors of the ball sport — a pair of free throws and an open dunk off of a feed from Jayson Tatum with a minute to play.
“Emotional sport,” Porzingis stated after the sport. “These guys [the Grizzlies] performed onerous, and so they got here to win. We needed to grind this one out. We didn’t have our greatest sport.”
With 1:48 to play, Desmond Bane, who had the new hand for giant stretches, hit a three-pointer to tug the Grizzlies forward 100-98. These had been the Grizzlies’ final factors of the night time. On the next Celtics possession, Porzingis caught a troublesome Jrue Vacation go and was capable of convert on two free throws.
Then, Brown stole the ball from Santi Aldama, and Derrick White bought tangled in a bounce ball with Bane. The Celtics had been capable of preserve possession with simply over a minute left to play, and Tatum discovered Porzingis for what ended up being the game-winning dunk.
The final thirty seconds had been as wild as you’ll see within the NBA. After Bane missed a pull-up, Tatum had an opportunity to place away the sport however missed his patented turnaround fadeaway. Derrick White bought the large offensive board, however Jrue Vacation missed a dunk that nearly value the Celtics the sport.
Aldama, nonetheless, missed a possible game-winning three-pointer, and although the Grizzlies bought one other likelihood to tie it after securing the offensive board, Porzingis blocked Ziaire Williams’ hoist on the buzzer.
For the Grizzlies, Bane (30 factors, 8 assists) and Aldama (28 factors, 12 rebounds, 6 assists) led the best way. Each hit huge pictures all through the night time, however weren’t significantly environment friendly, each taking pictures an equivalent 11-27 from the sector.
Jaren Jackson Jr, who was an All Star for Memphis final yr, completed the night time with 17 factors and eight rebounds however struggled with foul hassle. Memphis completed the night time with 21 second-chance factors off of 14 offensive rebounds, oftentimes beating the Celtics to unfastened balls.
“I believed they simply performed more durable,” Mazzulla stated in his post-game interview. “I believed that was only a onerous taking part in, powerful crew. I don’t assume we took them flippantly, however I believed they performed more durable for us for certain.”
Memphis was with out Marcus Good — who’s out with a sprained ankle for the subsequent month — however definitely performed his scrappy, defensive-minded model of basketball. Memphis was additionally with out Ja Morant, who’s suspended till December, Steven Adams, Brandon Clarke, Luke Kennard, and several other different rotation gamers.
“I didn’t assume we deserved to win,” Mazzulla stated, who stated his group didn’t govt offensively nor defensively.
They’ll take the perfect file within the league, anyhow, and wrap up their highway journey tomorrow in Charlotte.