THE NITTY GRITTY
The Celtics spent nearly the entire game playing catch-up and trailed by as much as 19 in the first half. Despite surging within three in the final moments of a furious fourth quarter, Boston was foiled by Memphis at the finish line. Jared Sullinger turned in 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds over 35 minutes. Jeff Green scored a game-high 26 points for Boston, while Brandon Bass grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds (to go along with a team-best four blocks). Jerryd Bayless, who torched Boston in the first meeting this season, was at it again. He registered 22 points (despite hitting only one 3-pointer) to pace five Grizzlies in double figures and made some big free throws to keep Boston at arm's length.
The Celtics dug themselves an early 19-point hole with much of the damage being inflicted late in the first quarter. Boston watched the Grizzlies embark on a 13-0 run during a near-six-minute stretch spanning into the second quarter. Boston missed seven consecutive shots during the stretch while Bayless scored six points as Memphis turned a one-possession game into a 16-point difference less than a minute into the second quarter. The Celtics would make some spirited runs but never got closer than nine until the final 75 seconds. The Celtics never had a chance to tie the game, but kept fighting and Memphis simply made its free throws (25 of 31 overall).
AB HIGHLIGHT REEL
Avery Bradley had an up-and-down night, particularly trying to contain Mike Conley early, but he'll find his way into the highlight reel. First, he had an emphatic two-handed putback dunk (keying a sequence that saw Bass produce a big swat at the other end before Bradley splashed a 3-pointer). Later, Bradley had a chasedown swat on old friend Tony Allen. Bass and Bradley combined for six of Boston's seven blocks.
Gerald Wallace picked up his first technical foul of the season for jawing at the referees after he was whistled for a fourth-quarter foul. It was only the third technical for the Celtics this season (Jordan Crawford owns the other two).
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics can find a silver lining in their late rally, though they must fix their lackluster start. Boston watched its two-game winning streak end while falling to the Grizzlies for the second time this season. The Celtics will take Thanksgiving off before hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night. The second night of a back-to-back looms in Milwaukee on Saturday, but Boston is back home for two more games (vs. Milwaukee and Denver) next week.