MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Boston Celtics closed the third quarter on a 15-0 run, carried a six-point lead into the fourth quarter, and appeared to be in position to earn their first victory of the season.
Jerryd Bayless had other ideas. The Grizzlies’ reserve guard went from 0 to 15 points in the fourth quarter, hitting one jumper after another in rhythm and carrying MEMPHIS (2-2) to a 95-88 victory over the Celtics (0-4).
Boston power forward Jeff Green had a game-high 22 points and power forward Jared Sullinger scored 16 off the bench for Boston. Power forward Zach Randolph and point guard Mike Conley also had 15 points each for MEMPHIS (Conley added eight assists) and center Marc Gasol finished with 14 points.
The Celtics, who came into Monday’s game last in the league in assists per game (14.0) and turnovers per game (21.0), finished right at their average with 21 turnovers and 14 assists. The Grizzlies finished with 23 assists and 19 turnovers. MEMPHIS out-rebounded Boston 36-32 and had a 34-30 edge on points in the paint.
MEMPHIS trailed by four at the half, but Gasol scored 10 points in the third quarter and sparked a 20-7 run to put MEMPHIS up, 66-57. Boston rallied back, finishing the quarter on a 15-0 run that included a 3-pointer from Sullinger near quarter’s end after Grizzlies power forward Ed Davis was called for an out-of-bounds violation. Boston carried a 72-66 advantage into the fourth.
MEMPHIS led 27-24 after the first quarter, but the Celtics closed the second quarter with an 11-6 spurt to take a 50-46 lead into halftime. By that point, Green already had 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the floor and the Celtics shot 52.8 percent for the half. Conley had 11 for the Grizzlies, who shot 41.5 percent in the first half.
NOTES: Through the Celtics' first three games (all losses), they averaged 14.0 assists and 21.0 turnovers and ranked last in the league in both categories. "The silver lining is the best (point guard) in the league is sitting next to us in a nice suit," Boston coach Brad Stevens said, referring to All-Star Rajon Rondo, who is recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee and has yet to play this season. ... Going into Monday night's game, MEMPHIS had won four of the last six games against the Celtics. ... When the Grizzlies signed swingman Mike Miller as a free agent in the offseason, there was a popular theory that the team would play him sparingly during the regular season because of his history of back trouble. But he averaged 32 minutes through the first three games. "I'm not going to put him in a cryo chamber till April," MEMPHIS coach Dave Joerger said.