NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 23rd (All times Eastern)
Boston Celtics (36-32) at Memphis Grizzlies (46-22), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Both the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies will try to shake off disappointing losses on Friday when the two teams meet Saturday at FedEx Forum.
On Friday, the Celtics fell to the Dallas Mavericks in Big D, 104-94, and the Grizzlies lost in New Orleans to the Hornets, 90-83.
This late in the season, any loss has an impact on playoff positioning and these teams both felt the sting when they looked at the standings Saturday morning.
The Celtics fell into seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but only trail the Chicago Bulls by a half-game for the sixth spot. Boston is only a 1 1/2 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for fifth.
The Grizzles' loss was more significant due to the high quality of the Western Conference and the fluidity of spots 3-5. Memphis fell to fifth, a half-game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for fourth and a full game behind the surging Denver Nuggets for third.
On Friday, Memphis nearly overcame a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit, but fell to the Hornets when the Grizz only shot 34 percent in the second half in the Big Easy.
"We were just trying to make shots," said Memphis guard Mike Conley. "We were trying to speed the game up and get more opportunities; get into the paint and get more free throw opportunities. We did not do these things well and did not get back in the game."
Conley paced the Grizzlies with 20 points, while Marc Gasol (16), Zach Randolph (14) and Jerryd Bayless (12) also scored in double figures.
The Grizzlies had a two-game winning streak snapped, but they've lost their last three away from home.
The Celtics have dropped three in a row overall, including their last two on the road.
On Friday, Boston fell behind by nine after the first quarter and never really recovered. The Celtics have now lost four straight away from Boston and what ailed them on Friday was once their calling card.
"Defensively right now, we're not getting it done," Celtics guard Jason Terry said. "Give them credit, they spread us out."
Terry returned to Dallas, where he spent eight seasons before joining the Celtics in the offseason. He only managed eight points on 3-for-9 shooting from the field.
Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett all had 16 points, while Garnett grabbed 12 rebounds and Bass 11.
Guard Courtney Lee tweaked his ankle late in the game and didn't return. His availability for Saturday is unknown.
The Celtics, who are 2-11 on the road against Western Conference teams, have actually won eight of their last 10 in Memphis. The Grizzlies defeated the Celtics in Boston on Jan. 2, 93-83.
03/23 10:33:36 ET