January 23, 2020 / 2:57 AM / a month ago

Tatum exits with injury, but Celtics down Grizzlies

Jayson Tatum scored 23 points before exiting with a groin injury in the third quarter as the Boston Celtics crushed the visiting Memphis Grizzlies 119-95 Wednesday night.

Jan 22, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) gets fouled by Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks (24) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Theis added 14 points, Enes Kanter chipped in 13 points off the bench, and Marcus Smart and Gordon Hayward scored 12 apiece as the Celtics won their second straight since losing six of eight.

Jonas Valanciunas had a team-high 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Jaren Jackson Jr. and Solomon Hill each added 13 points for the Grizzlies, who lost their second straight since a seven-game win streak. Memphis dropped its eighth consecutive meeting with Boston.

Tatum limped off the court and to the locker room with 4:43 left in the third. The team later announced he sustained a right groin strain and would not return. The Celtics already were without Jaylen Brown for the game due to a right ankle sprain.

It mattered little as Boston used a stretch of 23 unanswered points in the second quarter to take control of the contest. Memphis was up 42-35 with 6:53 to go before its drought began, and it wouldn’t score again until Valanciunas completed a layup with 1.3 seconds remaining to get the Grizzlies within 58-44 at the break.

Tatum led all scorers with 21 first-half points, including 10 during the lopsided spurt, and Theis had 12 on a career-high-matching three 3-pointers. Despite the big lead, the rest of the Celtics starters shot 1 of 16 combined.

Valanciunas scored 11 before the break to lead Memphis.

Boston began the third with a 20-7 spurt as the lead grew to 27. The Celtics went up 84-54 on a Semi Ojeleye bucket with 4:12 to go in the third, and they carried a 99-63 lead into the final quarter.

Boston went up by as much as 38 down the stretch as it sat all its starters in the fourth. Celtics guard Kemba Walker finished the game with eight points on 2-of-9 shooting.

—Field Level Media

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