EditorsNote: minor fixes throughout
Marcus Morris put Boston ahead for good with a jumper with 2:41 remaining and Al Horford buried a crucial 3-pointer a little more than a minute later Saturday night, rallying the Celtics to a 112-103 victory over the host Memphis Grizzlies.
In the first head-to-head meeting of star point guards Kyrie Irving of Boston and Mike Conley of Memphis since March 2015, they matched game-high, 26-point efforts in a game that featured five late lead changes.
Conley’s 3-pointer gave Memphis its last lead at 97-96 with 3:05 to go before Morris and Gordon Hayward dropped in consecutive hoops to give the Celtics a three-point advantage.
Conley responded for the Grizzlies to trim the deficit to one, but Horford then buried his back-breaking 26-footer to put Boston in command for good with just 1:33 to play.
Horford sank another 3-pointer with 35.1 seconds remaining to ice the win, the Celtics’ sixth straight over the Grizzlies.
Horford finished with 18 points and five 3-pointers as the Celtics outscored the Grizzlies 48-21 from beyond the arc.
Boston ended the game on a 16-6 run and outscored Memphis 33-16 in the fourth quarter.
Irving complemented his 26 points with a game-high 13 assists.
Morris backed Irving with 22 points for the Celtics, who trailed by as many as 19 points in the third quarter.
Gordon Hayward added 14 points for Boston, which shot 50 percent from the field.
Dillon Brooks had 19 points and Marc Gasol added a 15-point, 10-assist double-double for the Grizzlies, who used a 12-0 run late in the second quarter to build a 64-47 halftime lead.
Jaren Jackson Jr. (15 points) and Kyle Anderson (10) also scored in double figures for Memphis, which had a two-game winning streak snapped despite shooting 47.4 percent.
—Field Level Media