THE NITTY GRITTY
Despite turning in maybe their best half of the season, the Celtics watched Memphis rally from six points down early in the third quarter to build a nine-point lead with 16 ½ minutes to go. Boston could have folded, but just as they have in their other three games this season, the Celtics rallied (and actually led by six with little more than seven minutes to play). But Jerryd Bayless caught fire and scored all of his team-high 15 points in the fourth frame for Memphis. Jeff Green scored a game-high 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting (he was 9 of 12 at the free throw line) with five rebounds over 40:27. Jared Sullinger scored 16 points over 20:42 off the bench for Boston.
Bayless was unconscious in the fourth quarter, making his first six shots. That included a trio of jumpers to erase Boston's six-point lead. Bayless' 3-pointer with 4:19 to go put Memphis back out front and Boston scored just two more points the rest of the way. The Grizzlies closed out the game on an 11-2 run.
Jordan Crawford was excellent at times, providing a spark off the bench. He connected on 4-of-7 shots for 12 points and added a team-high four assists while steadying the offense regardless of unit he ran with. .... Gerald Wallace bruised his right knee in the third quarter and did not return. He also did not attempt a single shot over 27:33. ... Vitor Faverani grabbed a team-high six rebounds, but had just five points over 27:38 and was a team-worst minus-19 in plus/minus. ... Green's fourth quarter: 0-for-3 shooting (all 3-pointers), one rebound, one assists, one turnover. He was minus-15 over 9:30. ... Courtney Lee deserves attention for putting up nine points, three rebounds and two assists over 18:54. He was a team-best plus-17. ... Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Phil Pressey were all healthy DNPs.
WHAT IT MEANS
Boston falls to 0-4. It's another moral victory night, maybe Boston's most encouraging overall effort of the season as the team rallied back (and ahead) in the fourth quarter. This is the first time Boston has started the season 0-4 in the 1969-70 campaign. It's also the only time in Brad Stevens' college/pro coaching career that he's endured a four-game losing streak. The Celtics will take Tuesday off coming off a back-to-back, then get a visit from the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Another back-to-back looms to close this stretch of five games in five cities over seven days with Boston trekking to Orlando (Friday) and Miami (Saturday).