Ray Allen and the Boston Celtics delivered their best offensive performance of the season in a win over a supposed title contender their last time out.
There's no reason to believe their hot shooting won't carry over to Memphis.
The Celtics have shot better than 50 percent in their four straight road victories over the Grizzlies, an impressive streak they'll look to extend Saturday night in the finale of a four-game trip.
With an NBA-best 14.9 assists per game, Rajon Rondo is making sure Boston's shooters get plenty of open looks.
When the Celtics (7-2) -- particularly Allen -- are knocking those shots down, they're tough to beat. Allen went 7 of 9 on 3-pointers en route to a season-high 35 points, Rondo had 16 assists and Boston hit 54.4 percent from the field in a 112-107 win at Miami on Thursday, its second victory over the NBA's new superstar cast.
"Everybody just stepped in and did their job," coach Doc Rivers said. "Tonight was the first night I thought we had complete trust in the next pass."
Since the start of the 2009-10 season and including playoffs, the Celtics are 39-10 when Allen scores at least 18 points and 33-31 otherwise.
"Ray was unbelievable on both ends," Rivers said.
Allen scoring 18 seems to be the magic number necessary for Boston to beat Memphis (4-5) recently as well. He had at least 18 and hit 16 of 32 from beyond the arc as the Celtics took four consecutive meetings from March 8, 2008-Dec. 14, 2009.
Allen scored 17 and missed all six of his 3s in a 111-91 home loss to the Grizzlies on March 10.
The nine-time All-Star has made 61.9 percent (13 of 21) of his 3-point attempts in his last three trips to FedEx Forum, where Boston has shot 56.1 percent overall in winning four straight.
Defending the 3-point line has been a problem for Memphis in its losses. The Grizzlies have let opponents shoot 45.0 percent from beyond the arc in their five defeats, allowing a startling 117.4 points per game.
Memphis had issues on both ends of the floor against Dallas on Wednesday. The Grizzlies tied their season low in points and allowing the Mavericks to shoot 54.1 percent in a 106-91 loss that left coach Lionel Hollins fuming.
"Even if you are shooting 20 percent, you can still compete by playing defense, rebounding and make the other team have one less point than you," Hollins said. "You can't just quit and not compete."
The defeat marked the first time Rudy Gay, averaging 25.6 points, was held to less than 20. The 18-point performance, though, would be an improvement over his efforts during the Grizzlies' four-game home skid against Boston. Gay has averaged 14.0 points on 33.3 percent shooting.
Part of Memphis' defensive struggles, meanwhile, can be attributed to its rebounding differential, an NBA-worst minus-6.8.
It's been a lot better since Zach Randolph returned from a back injury, though. The Grizzlies have been outrebounded by 11.5 per game without him and 3.0 with him.
Randolph has averaged 19.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in the four games he's been back in the lineup.