Celtics Wrap: Boston Cruises Past Grizzlies For Third Straight Victory

The Boston Celtics continue to roll.

The Celtics have yet to lose since returning from the NBA All-Star break, earning their third straight victory with a 109-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at TD Garden on Monday.

After Memphis showed some signs of competitiveness in the opening minutes, Boston completely took over midway through the first quarter and never looked back. Kyrie Irving posted a game-high 25 points and was one of five Celtics to score in double figures.

With the win, the Celtics improve to 43-19, while the Grizzlies fall to 18-41.

Here’s how it all went down:

STARTING FIVE
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes

BREAKING TRENDS
The Celtics had been outscored in the first quarter in eight of their last nine games, but Boston flipped the script against Memphis. Thanks to a strong shooting performance, the C’s led 33-24 after 12 minutes. The Celtics as a team shot 60 percent from the floor, including a 7-for-10 clip from 3-point range. Irving dazzled in the first frame, pacing all scorers with 11 points while dishing out four assists. Marc Gasol was the only Grizzlies player to give Boston trouble in the first, notching nine points.

BENCH BONANZA
The C’s took a comfortable 67-41 lead into halftime without a considerable effort from their starting five. Boston starters only contributed 12 points — 10 of which coming from Irving — in the second quarter as the team’s reserves carried the load to open the floodgates. Terry Rozier led the first-half charge off the bench for the Celtics, posting 12 points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting performance. Marcus Morris also had a big second frame with seven points and five rebounds. Irving led all scorers with 21 first-half points in only 17 minutes of action.

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
The Grizzlies went on an 8-0 run to start the third, and then finished the quarter with a run of the same margin. Unfortunately for the visitors, their play in between eliminated any hope of getting back in the game. Boston kept its foot on the gas to open the second half and took an 86-69 lead into the final stanza. The C’s offense finally cooled down, as they only scored 19 points in the third. Baynes led Boston with five points in the quarter, while Irving added four to swell his total 25.

FOREGONE CONCLUSION
Memphis effectively was out of the game before the first half even ended, so the final quarter was nothing more than garbage time. The Grizzlies did show some signs of life in the closing minutes of the game, cutting Boston’s lead to 11, but that’s as close as the Grizzlies would get. Boston’s reserves played the bulk of the final quarter, as neither Irving nor Horford played a single minute in the fourth.

PLAY OF THE GAME
We’re not sure how Irving does the things that he does.

UP NEXT
The Celtics return to action Wednesday night when they host the Charlotte Hornets. Tip-off from TD Garden is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports

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