MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Wally Szczerbiak scored 26 points, Tony
Allen added 20 and the Boston Celtics used a balanced offense to
beat the Memphis Grizzlies 128-119 on Friday night.
Seven players scored in double figures for the Celtics, still
missing leading scorer Paul Pierce because of an injured left foot.
But they built a 14-point lead midway through the fourth quarter
and won for only the second time in nine games.
Ryan Gomes, Brian Scalabrine and Delonte West scored 16 points
apiece for Boston. Al Jefferson had 12 and Kendrick Perkins 10.
West added 11 assists.
Boston shot 58 percent from the field to Memphis' 56 percent.
Mike Miller and Pau Gasol led the Grizzlies with 24 points each,
and Miller had 14 assists. Damon Stoudamire added 17 points and
nine assists, and Stromile Swift scored 15 before fouling out.
Gasol had five blocks.
The teams were tied 58-all at halftime. Szczerbiak had 13 points
to lead Boston, while Miller and Stoudamire scored 10 apiece for
Both teams were shooting 70 percent after their first 10 shots,
and that accuracy continued through the first quarter. The Celtics
hit 14 of their 21 shots in the period, while Memphis shot 72
percent for an early lead.
The Grizzlies entered shooting 52 percent from the field in
three games under interim coach Tony Barone, who is emphasizing a
fast-paced style. They dropped to 2-2 under Barone.
Memphis began mishandling the ball in the second, and the
Celtics disrupted the Grizzlies' offense. Stoudamire's 3-pointer
from the top of the key tied the score in the final minute of the
Boston was particularly effective in controlling Miller, who had
been on a tear from the field recently. The Celtics had a defender,
usually Szczerbiak or Allen, shadowing the Grizzlies' shooter,
allowing him only seven shots in the first half. Miller missed all
three of his shots outside the arc in the half.
Boston built the lead to 12 in the third as Gomes scored eight
early points. Memphis whittled away at the advantage, but the
Celtics still managed to carry a 97-90 lead into the final period.
Miller finally got untracked in the fourth, scoring Memphis'
first 10 points of the period, but the Grizzlies couldn't get
Notes: Pierce missed his seventh game with the foot injury. ...
Memphis entered averaging 121 points in three games under Barone.
Under former coach Mike Fratello, the Grizzlies averaged 94.5. ...
Miller was 32-of-47 in his past three games from the field,
including 23-of-34 from outside the arc. He finished 8-of-17
overall and 2-of-10 from 3-point range against Boston. ... Barone
got his first technical of the season when he argued with official
Jim Clark after a foul was called on Rudy Gay with 10:10 left in