Boston 112, Memphis 109
When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tenn
MEMPHIS – (Special to Digital Sports Desk from Sport XChange) – Isaiah Thomas, in the words of Boston Celtics teammate Avery Bradley, “did what Isaiah does — put the ball in the basket.” Thomas did it so often he scored a career-high 44 points to lead the Celtics to a 112-109 victory in overtime against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night at FedExForum. He scored 36 of his points after halftime.
“I wasn’t trying to get 40,” Thomas said. “I just knew I had to get a little more aggressive.”
Said Boston center Al Horford (17 points and 14 rebounds): “He just carried us. He takes a lot of pressure off our team. He just makes it look so easy.”
The Celtics (16-12) led by as many as five points late in overtime They erased a nine-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter and Thomas hit two free throws with 27 seconds left in regulation to tie the game 97-97.
Memphis center Marc Gasol (24 points, seven rebounds, six assists) missed a turnaround jumper with 1.9 seconds left. Horford had a chance to win the game in regulation but his short shot went in just after time expired.
At halftime, Memphis led 45-31 and had a 32-19 rebounding edge, 12-4 on the offensive glass.
“Their offensive rebounding was killing us,” said Celtics forward Jae Crowder (13 points).
Memphis coach David Fizdale went into halftime happy his team had held Boston to 31 points and then watched the Celtics go for 31 points in the third quarter and 35 in the fourth.
“So basically, we stayed in the locker room at halftime,” Fizdale said. “Our defense totally failed us.”