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Thursday, March 24, 2011
"It's One Love," Tony Allen after the Celtics won the 2008 NBA Finals
There are some moments in life that you never forget. I'm sure being a first-hand witness to Tony Allen's triumphant return to the TD Garden with the Memphis Grizzlies last night will be one of those precious memories I can take to my grave.
Haha for real though, it was an important game for both teams last night as the Grizzlies (40-32) scratch and claw (lame metaphor alert) for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference. The Boston Celtics (50-20) came into the game half a game behind the Chicago Bulls for the top spot in the Eastern Conference so the 90-87 setback didn't help one bit for the Green.
It was a weird game with the TD Garden crowd usually sitting on its hands. It was capped off by Glen Davis (12 points, 5 rebounds) missing the tying 3-pointer. Marc Gasol (11 points, 11 rebounds) got the rebound and it looked over as he had two foul shots with under five seconds remaining. Surprisingly, he bricked both free throws and Boston got the rebound and called a timeout. Paul Pierce (22 points) had a chance at a 3-pointer but it bounced harmlessly off the rim.
Tony Allen (8 points, 7 rebounds) and ex-Celtic Leon Powe (13 points) were sparks in the starting lineup and off the bench respectively for the Grizzlies who had six players in double-figures. Zach Randolph took a break from going to strip clubs and rolling blunts to put in 13 points and grab eight rebounds while Sam Young and O.J. Mayo notched 11 points with Darrell Arthur adding 10 points.
The game featured some quintessential Tony Allen and Leon Powe moments. Allen airballed a 3-pointer and a floater while Powe quietly got to the basket at will and scored all those points in only 17 minutes of action.
Ray Allen had 14 points for the Celtics while Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green notched 10 points. Rajon Rondo had a very Rondoesque game with six points, seven steals, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
Memphis led 20-15 after one quarter but Boston rallied for a slim 45-44 advantage. The Celts won the third quarter (25-23) but the Grizzlies made the plays in the fourth (23-17) and overall seemed to play with more urgency which was curious since this was a vital game to the Celtics as well.
Memphis shot 44.6% to 42.0% for Boston. The Celtics hit four more 3-pointers (7-3) and nine more free throws (22-13). Thanks to seven more offensive rebounds (11-4), the Grizzlies had six more total rebounds (43-37). Rondo helped the Cs get seven more assists (24-17) but honestly there were times when Boston's unselfishness hurt them. Memphis had the only three blocks of the game and twice as many points in the paint (52-26).
Boston tries to get back on track tomorrow night as they host the Charlotte Bobcats, a team that's currently tied for ninth and looking up at the Indiana Pacers for the all-important eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.