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Kyrie Irving helps Celtics pull away to beat Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Boston saw a lead that once reached 21 points, slip away in the third quarter, but the Celtics made sure they didn't trail for long.

On the short end of a 73-71 score after three, Boston opened the final frame with 16 straight points to pull away from the Memphis Grizzlies for a 102-93 victory on Saturday night.

''We just stayed composed and went out and executed,'' said Celtics forward Al Horford, who scored 15 points. ''We got some stops on defense. On the offensive end, we moved the ball pretty well. I think that was the difference. We opened up the game after that.''

Kyrie Irving scored 20 points, Jayson Tatum had 19 points and nine rebounds, part of six Celtics reaching double figures. The Celtics shot 49 percent, including 14 of 30 (46.7 percent) from outside the arc.

Marc Gasol led Memphis with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Tyreke Evans added 25 points, and Dillon Brooks had 14 points, hitting a season-best four 3-pointers.

Boston led by 21 in the first half, but Memphis used a 21-point third quarter by Gasol to take a 73-71 lead after three. And the Memphis crowd, which has suffered through the team losing 17 of its last 19, rose in enthusiasm with the comeback.

The excitement was short-lived as Boston went on its rally to open the fourth.

''Obviously, Gasol got it going. You're going to take a team's shot like that, but you have to weather that storm and stay the course,'' Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

There was little doubt about the way the game turned in the early minutes of the fourth, and Memphis expended a lot of energy getting back even with the Celtics before that point.

''When you play a team like this with guys that can shoot and create the way that they can, they make you pay for mistakes,'' Memphis interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. ''And you've got to give them credit, they created a lot of those mistakes.''

TIP-INS

Celtics: Rookie F Daniel Theis, who broke his nose in Friday's loss to Utah, was back in action against the Grizzlies, wearing a mask. ... Tatum, who entered the game, leading the league in 3-point shooting at 50 percent (48 of 96), made both of his shots from outside the arc in the game.

Grizzlies: The Celtics outscored Memphis 31-12 in the first quarter, marking the 14th time in the last 18 games that the Grizzlies were outscored in a quarter by at least nine points. ... Gasol's 21 points in the third were one shy of a Memphis franchise record for points in a quarter. ... Ten of the last 12 Memphis opponents have shot 40 percent or better from outside the arc.

LONDON CALLING

The Celtics play the Philadelphia 76ers in London on Jan. 11, and Stevens sees it as an opportunity to showcase the Boston franchise. ''As a coach, you look at it, and see challenges that come along with it,'' he said. ''But it's a great experience for our players and our organization.'' He added that previous trips abroad in Madrid and Milan ''kind of opened your eyes to the Celtics and the following overseas.''

MAKING ADJUSTMENTS

Tatum, the rookie forward from Duke, played in his 32nd game Saturday night, about the amount of a regular season college game. And, he acknowledged, he can tell the difference. ''It's tough,'' he said. ''The traveling, playing back-to-backs. It's still an adjustment. I'm still trying to get used to it. I'm just trying to rest as much as possible.''

FINAL WORD

''He only made four 3-pointers but it felt like 15.'' - Stevens on Memphis center Marc Gasol's shooting in the fourth quarter.

FINAL WORD NO. 2

Gasol on if there is a point in the season when he panics over results: ''I don't work that way. Every morning, I take my positive vitamins and do my Zen or yoga or whatever I need to do to block everything out.''

UP NEXT

Celtics: At Indiana on Monday night

Grizzlies: At Golden State on Wednesday night.

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Key Players
K. Irving
11 PG
M. Gasol
33 C
35.0 Min. Per Game 35.0
18.7 Pts. Per Game 18.7
4.1 Ast. Per Game 4.1
8.5 Reb. Per Game 8.5
49.2 Field Goal % 42.3
49.3 Three Point % 41.9
88.6 Free Throw % 82.6
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:03
+ 1 Marc Gasol made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:28
+ 1 Marc Gasol made 1st of 2 free throws 0:28
  Shooting foul on Marcus Smart 0:28
  Offensive rebound by Marc Gasol 0:28
  Mario Chalmers missed jump shot 0:30
  Lost ball turnover on Jaylen Brown, stolen by Mario Chalmers 0:34
  Offensive rebound by Jaylen Brown 0:38
  Jaylen Brown missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:41
  Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum 1:00
  Marc Gasol missed jump shot 1:04
Team Stats
Points 102 93
Field Goals 39-80 (48.8%) 32-79 (40.5%)
3-Pointers 14-30 (46.7%) 14-34 (41.2%)
Free Throws 10-14 (71.4%) 15-17 (88.2%)
Total Rebounds 50 44
Offensive 14 10
Defensive 28 28
Team 8 6
Assists 21 18
Steals 6 8
Blocks 6 3
Turnovers 16 13
Fouls 19 19
Technicals 0 0
19 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST
30 PTS, 10 REB, 2 AST
1234T
away team logo Celtics 25-7 31172331102
home team logo Grizzlies 9-21 1228332093
Team Stats
away team logo Celtics 25-7 105.2 PPG 46.2 RPG 23.6 APG
home team logo Grizzlies 9-21 101.8 PPG 38.3 RPG 22.4 APG
Key Players
K. Irving PG 21.0 PPG 4.8 RPG 5.4 APG 46.6 FG%
M. Gasol C 14.8 PPG 8.8 RPG 4.3 APG 41.8 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Irving PG 20 PTS 2 REB 6 AST
M. Gasol C 30 PTS 10 REB 2 AST
48.8 FG% 40.5
46.7 3PT FG% 41.2
71.4 FT% 88.2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Irving 30 20 2 6 0 0 3 3 7/17 4/9 2/2 0 2 31 +20
J. Tatum 34 19 9 1 2 2 0 1 7/13 2/2 3/3 5 4 34 +21
A. Horford 32 15 7 6 0 1 3 1 7/12 1/2 0/1 1 6 32 -3
A. Baynes 27 13 6 0 0 0 1 3 6/8 0/0 1/1 3 3 18 +13
J. Brown 33 9 7 0 1 1 3 3 3/9 2/6 1/1 3 4 15 +4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Irving 30 20 2 6 0 0 3 3 7/17 4/9 2/2 0 2 31 +20
J. Tatum 34 19 9 1 2 2 0 1 7/13 2/2 3/3 5 4 34 +21
A. Horford 32 15 7 6 0 1 3 1 7/12 1/2 0/1 1 6 32 -3
A. Baynes 27 13 6 0 0 0 1 3 6/8 0/0 1/1 3 3 18 +13
J. Brown 33 9 7 0 1 1 3 3 3/9 2/6 1/1 3 4 15 +4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Smart 30 11 2 5 1 0 4 5 3/6 2/4 3/4 1 1 20 +5
T. Rozier 20 10 4 1 2 0 1 1 4/8 2/3 0/0 0 4 17 -9
D. Theis 14 5 3 1 0 2 0 2 2/4 1/2 0/2 1 2 12 -3
A. Nader 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
S. Larkin 12 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 0/3 0/2 0/0 0 2 3 0
S. Ojeleye 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -3
G. Yabusele 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Hayward - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bird - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Allen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 238 102 42 21 6 6 16 19 39/80 14/30 10/14 14 28 182 +45
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Gasol 33 30 10 2 3 0 2 1 11/19 4/6 4/5 3 7 45 -8
T. Evans 38 25 3 5 1 1 1 0 7/16 4/8 7/8 0 3 39 +9
D. Brooks 34 14 1 1 0 0 0 0 5/12 4/5 0/0 0 1 17 +5
J. Green 28 7 8 0 0 0 4 4 3/6 1/3 0/0 3 5 11 -11
A. Harrison 14 2 0 5 0 0 1 3 1/4 0/2 0/0 0 0 11 -3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Gasol 33 30 10 2 3 0 2 1 11/19 4/6 4/5 3 7 45 -8
T. Evans 38 25 3 5 1 1 1 0 7/16 4/8 7/8 0 3 39 +9
D. Brooks 34 14 1 1 0 0 0 0 5/12 4/5 0/0 0 1 17 +5
J. Green 28 7 8 0 0 0 4 4 3/6 1/3 0/0 3 5 11 -11
A. Harrison 14 2 0 5 0 0 1 3 1/4 0/2 0/0 0 0 11 -3
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Martin 19 8 6 1 2 1 0 0 2/5 0/1 4/4 3 3 19 +2
M. Chalmers 25 3 2 3 1 0 3 3 1/8 1/6 0/0 0 2 9 -16
B. McLemore 5 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 0 2 -12
D. Davis 12 2 4 1 1 0 2 2 1/2 0/0 0/0 1 3 7 -1
J. Ennis III 12 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 2 2 -14
V. Hunter 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 0
K. Simmons 14 0 2 0 0 1 0 2 0/3 0/1 0/0 0 2 3 +4
M. Conley - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Wright - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Parsons - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Rabb - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Selden Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 93 38 18 8 3 13 19 32/79 14/34 15/17 10 28 165 -45