MEMPHIS — In the six years that Brad Stevens spent at Butler, he won 166 games — the most for any college coach ever in that span.
He also never lost four consecutive games during his time there.
But that is how his career as head coach of the Celtics has started, as their record fell to 0-4 after Monday night’s 95-88 loss to the Grizzlies at the FedExForum.
The Celtics have not lost four consecutive games to start the regular season since 1969, seven years before Stevens was even born.
As they had in their previous three games, the Celtics made it interesting, especially after ending the third quarter on a 15-0 run to take a 72-66 lead into the fourth.
And, as was the case in their previous three games, it was again the fourth quarter in which they struggled most, as they were outscored, 29-16.
Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless scored 9 quick points late in the fourth, the last on a 3-pointer that gave Memphis an 87-86 lead with 4:19 left.
The Grizzlies stretched that lead to 89-86 on a pair of Zach Randolph free throws. The Celtics tried to answer, but they missed a pair of jumpers.
Brandon Bass made a driving layup with 2:11 left that cut the Celtics’ deficit to 1, but they would come no closer.
The Celtics had struggled from 3-point range in their first three games, shooting a combined 10 of 45 from distance. They were better Monday night, making 7 of 20.
Jared Sullinger scored 16 points off the bench. Jeff Green scored 22 points, going 9 of 12 from the free throw line. But Green missed all four of his fourth-quarter shots, three of them from 3-point range.
Memphis had three players score 15 points: Bayless, Randolph, and point guard Mike Conley.
The Celtics play the Jazz Wednesday at TD Garden.Baxter Holmes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BaxterHolmes.