The Memphis Grizzlies spoiled Avery Bradley’s season debut, handing the Celtics their fourth straight loss, 93-83, Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Bradley finished with four points and one steal in 19 minutes. He sat out most of the fourth quarter, including a stretch where the Celtics cut a 16-point lead down to five before failing to convert on six straight possessions.
The Celtics dug their own grave in the first half when they allowed Memphis to shoot 61 percent from the field. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 23 points. Paul Pierce had 17 for the Celtics. He and Kevin Garnett combined to make just 11 of 28 shots from the field.
The Celtics are back on the court Friday night when they host the Indiana Pacers.
1:26 4th quarter, Grizzlies 88-78: Sullinger has fouled out, but had he not he would have closed out the game.
2:56 4th quarter, Grizzlies 85-78: Do the Celtics have enough in the tank to make this interesting? What’s the lineup? Jason Terry playing very well. Sullinger has five fouls.
4:46 4th quarter, Grizzlies 83-78: Jason Terry getting hot. His corner 3-pointer has the lead down to five.
8:50 4th quarter, Grizzlies 81-69: Celtics are trying to make a run with a backcourt of Rondo and Lee, then Rondo and Terry. Bradley sitting out for the moment.
End 3d quarter, Grizzlies 75-59: Conley has 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Celtics are down to 44 percent shooting.
6:36 3d quarter, Grizzlies 64-49: It gets worse. Mike Conley and Rudy Gay are now 4 of 8 on 3-pointers. The game is getting away from the Celtics.
8:06 3d quarter, Grizzlies 59-47: Defense still not fixed. Tony Allen just came from the weak side and threw home a rebound slam over Jason Collins, who was standing under the hoop but didn’t box anyone out.
Halftime, Grizzlies 50-41: The Celtics wasted their last few offensive possessions before halftime. Whether it was KG throwing the ball to Tony Allen or Pierce going 1-on-4 and getting swallowed up, ball movement became an afterthought in the waning moments of the first half. The Celtics are now shooting 47 percent while the Grizzlies are still up at 61 percent. Boston shot 33 percent in the second quarter.
3:27 2d quarter, Grizzlies 44-36: Kevin Garnett is just 1 of 7 from the floor, so he takes a seat in favor of Jared Sullinger, who has three fouls.
7:11 2d quarter, Grizzlies 39-33: A 10-0 run by Memphis is erasing a lot of good vibes. Jared Sullinger picked up three fouls in three minutes. The Celtics still haven’t proven they can stop the Grizzlies, which is a problem.
8:36 2d quarter, Grizzlies 34-33: Rivers can now work his starters back into the game to end the half. Glad Rondo played if only so we can see what the rotations are supposed to look like. Starting Jason Collins at center now also seems to make more sense because Brandon Bass looks like a different player in quick bench lineup. Now if only the Celtics can start getting some stops.
End 1st quarter, Celtics 26-25: Two things to notice right away. Avery Bradley’s defense on pick-and-rolls is going to be a revelation, even if he’s slow getting his feet wet. And the bench, the one that Doc Rivers wanted all along, doesn’t look nearly as bad in a supporting role. In fact, a backup backcourt of Courtney Lee and Jason Terry is a nice advantage in some spots.
Both teams shooting above 60 percent from the floor, which is not what either coach wants on defense.
1:51 1st quarter, Grizzlies 23-22: The Celtics did well to bounce back from an early Grizzlies onslaught as Memphis made four of their first six shots. We’re getting the good Paul Pierce tonight (12 points thus far).
Pregame: For the first time all season, your starting backcourt features Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley.