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Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Game 70: Celtics vs. Grizzlies

By Greg Payne

(50-19, 29-6 home)     -- vs. --     (39-32, 14-22 away)
at TD Garden, 7:30 p.m. | CSN, WEEI (850 AM)

PAYNE'S THREE THINGS TO WATCH
GAME PREVIEW (via Stats Inc.)
While the Memphis Grizzlies are battling for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference, their next two games will have major implications in the East.

The Grizzlies begin a two-game trip against one of the East's best Wednesday night when they take on the Boston Celtics.

Memphis (39-32) is in eighth place in the West as it starts a road trip in which it will probably be happy to win one game. The Grizzlies visit Chicago on Friday, and the Bulls and Celtics (50-19) are in a tight race for the No. 1 seed in the East.

"We can't lower our heads and say: 'We've got to play two of the best teams coming up on the road,' and be down about it," guard Mike Conley said. "We've got to take the challenge and take it head on."

Boston will be seeking its third season sweep of Memphis in the last four seasons. The Celtics won 116-110 in overtime Nov. 13 behind Paul Pierce's 28 points and Rajon Rondo's 17 assists.

Memphis was led by Rudy Gay's 22 points. The club announced Tuesday that Gay will miss the rest of the season since surgery has been recommended for an injured left shoulder that has kept him out of action since Feb. 22.

The Grizzlies are 8-6 in Gay's absence, winning their second straight 103-85 over Utah on Monday. Zach Randolph had 19 points and 13 boards while Conley had 11 points and 11 assists.

"Each game is a playoff game for us," Randolph said. "We're trying to get there. We're in the last spot. We're trying to hold onto it or move up. So it's important every game to come out and be focused."

Read the full preview HERE.