Jayson Tatum scored 29 points and the Boston Celtics ran past the Memphis Grizzlies, 122-107
LAKE BUENA VISTA —
Jayson Tatum scored 29 points and the Boston Celtics ran past Memphis 122-107 on Tuesday, putting the Grizzlies in further danger of missing the playoffs.
The Grizzlies missed another chance to guarantee themselves a spot in the Western Conference play-in series, and could fall out of eighth place if Portland beats Dallas later Tuesday.
Boston (48-23), which has already locked up the Eastern Conference’s third seed, won its fourth straight.
Gordon Hayward added 19 points and five assists.
Memphis (33-39) lost for the sixth time in seven games since the restart. Ja Morant finished with 26 points and 13 assists.
The Grizzlies arrived in Florida with 3 1/2-game cushion over their nearest competitor for the eighth seed in the West. But their struggles have guaranteed the need for a play-in game for that final spot with Portland, San Antonio and Phoenix all still in contention.
Memphis will head into its final seeding game against Milwaukee on Thursday needing a win to earn a place in the play-in game. The team that finishes ninth would have to beat the eighth-place team twice.
Boston didn’t look like a team coasting into the postseason. Celtics coach Brad Stevens played his regular starters and they were active on both ends of the floor
Tatum paced the offensive attack, scoring 17 points in just 15 minutes of action in the first half.
Tied at 13 in the first quarter, the Celtics went a 33-11 run and led by as many as 22 in the second quarter.
Boston held the Grizzlies to 33% (17 of 51) shooting in the half, including 1 of 13 (7.7%) from the 3-point line.
Celtics: Closed first quarter on 11-4 run. Shot 51% from the field (44 of 86) for the game.
Grizzlies: Finished 24% (7 of 29) from beyond the arc.
Celtics: Play Wizards on Thursday.
Grizzlies: Play Bucks on Thursday
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