In a game with importance for both teams, the Celtics got the job done and beat the Grizzlies 122-107. The Grizzlies now still have work to do to ensure they are in the play-in game, as a loss and a Suns win would end their season. Boston gets another win to create momentum going into the playoffs, and are already locked in to the 3 seed in the East, with Philly their probable first round matchup.
The Celtics are certainly hitting their stride with one game left before the playoffs begin. They have won four straight, and their well balanced offense has been tearing teams apart. Tatum finished the game with 29, and Kemba and Hayward each chipped in 19 for Boston. If all 3 and Brown are at their best, it is very difficult to load up on any one player defensively, and the Celtics become hard to stop.
The Celtics were able to heat up in the first half, with a 33-11 run in the first half sparked by excellent play from Tatum. They shot the ball extremely well, ending the game at 51%, while limiting the Grizzlies offense, who shot 24% from 3 in this game.
The Grizzlies have struggled heavily down in Orlando. They have lost 6 of their 7 games, and now may not even get a chance at a play-in game. The injury to Jaren Jackson Jr. was tough, as he is a major key for them on both ends. However, to have a 3.5 game cushion going into the bubble, and now be in the 9th seed at risk of falling lower is disappointing for Memphis.
Morant still showed up and balled out, as he has been all season. He gave Memphis 26 and 13 assists, and was the only one creating and driving the offense in the game. He spoke after the game about how the team has been an underdog all season, and they will need that mentality to try and extend their season.
The Celtics play the Wizards on Thursday in what will be simply a playoff tune-up. The Grizzlies play the Bucks, in what could be their last game of a very promising season unless they are able to get a win.