BOSTON — The Celtics let one get away against a title-contending team last week at the TD Garden (Golden State). Wednesday night, they made sure history did not repeat itself.
Avery Bradley had a team-high 17 points in his return from a left elbow injury and Kelly Olynyk scored 13 of his 15 points in the second-half, helping the Celtics earn a hard-fought 95-92 win over Jeff Green and the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Celtics trailed 86-83 with just over two minutes remaining in the nip-and-tuck affair before mounting a 12-6 run to close out the contest. The comeback featured Boston scoring on their final five offensive possession, which included crucial baskets from Bradley, Jae Crowder (16 points off bench) and Marcus Smart.
Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley (20 points) had a chance to tie the game on the game’s final possession, but missed a 3-point shot from the top of the key.
The victory came despite the absence of Boston’s top offensive weapon in Isaiah Thomas. The point guard sat out with a sore back and elbow following a hard fall against the Heat on Friday night. He is expected to miss the team’s next two contests this weekend as well.
“It’s big for us, you know, every game counts,” Crowder said of winning without Thomas. “Right now were going down the stretch towards the end of the season so we know every game counts. We had a soldier down so we had the guys step up tonight.”
Following the win, the Celtics are just 1.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston has won four of their last five games, and 11 of 17 overall.