February 27, 2018 / 3:25 AM / 3 months ago

Irving, Celtics cruise past Grizzlies

EditorsNote: rewords ninth graf

Kyrie Irving had 25 points, six rebounds and five assists as Boston built a large cushion and cruised to a 109-98 victory over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Monday at TD Garden.

Terry Rozier scored 15 points and Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris added 13 apiece for the Celtics. Daniel Theis added 12 points.

Boston built a 26-point halftime lead en route to its third straight win following a three-game slide.

JaMychal Green had 21 points and 11 rebounds but couldn’t prevent the Grizzlies from dropping their 10th consecutive game, one shy of a season high. Marc Gasol had 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, Andrew Harrison scored 14 points and Deyonta Davis added 12 on 6-of-7 shooting.

Boston (.694) sits a half-game back of first place in the Eastern Conference behind the Toronto Raptors (.704), who also won Monday and have played three fewer games.

Memphis shot 43.6 percent from the field, including 5 of 23 from 3-point range, while falling to 5-23 on the road. The Grizzlies had scored 92 points or fewer in six of their previous seven contests.

Irving was 5 of 7 from 3-point range while scoring 21 first-half points to help Boston take a 67-41 lead into the break.

Memphis trailed by just three points late in the first quarter before Rozier scored 10 points during a 16-2 surge that gave the Celtics a 43-26 advantage with 8:47 left in the half. The lead reached 55-30 when Irving drained a 3-pointer with 5:13 to play.

Boston was 11 of 22 from 3-point range in the half before finishing 12 of 37 from long range and shooting 45.3 percent from the field overall.

Memphis was 1 of 10 from behind the arc in the first half.

The onslaught continued in the third quarter as Boston’s lead reached 28 points at 82-54 on a jumper by Aron Baynes with 5:27 to play.

Memphis finished the third quarter with a 15-4 surge to trail 86-69 entering the final quarter.

Boston led by 21 on Shane Larkin’s jumper with 7:56 to play before the Grizzlies narrowed the gap.

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