Tip-off was scheduled just after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at TD Garden. It said so in the program. The Memphis Grizzlies showed up, but the Celtics apparently didn’t get the memo.
And while the Grizzlies were busy piling up points in the first quarter, the Celtics played like they had just rolled out of bed, their slumber disturbed by an unwelcome alarm.
But it was too late. By the end of that quarter, the damage was done, and the Celtics were once again deep in a hole, and, again, they were unable to dig out of it.
They’ll head into Thanksgiving on the heels of a 100-93 defeat to the Grizzlies, which snapped a two-game Celtics’ winning streak (earned on the road) and dropped their record to 6-11.
The Grizzlies led, 27-13, after the first quarter, the Celtics’ lowest output in the first quarter this season. They were torched initially by point guard Mike Conley, who hit 5 of his first 6 shots.
Then, Jerryd Bayless started to torture the Celtics, just like he did when the teams met in Memphis and he scored 15 fourth-quarter points to key a Grizzlies’ win.
Bayless came back for seconds and again feasted on the Celtics, scoring a team-high 22 off the bench.
The Grizzlies were without All-Star center Marc Gasol, who missed the game with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. But they still racked up 40 points in the paint.
The Celtics fell behind by 19 points and tried to chip away in the second half, coming as close as 9 in the third quarter, then 3 in frantic final minute of the fourth, but they couldn’t complete the comeback.
Jeff Green led the Celtics with a game-high 26 points. Jared Sullinger added 23 points and 12 rebounds. Avery Bradley scored 16 points.
Conley finished with 14 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies, who improved to 8-7.
The Celtics face the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday at TD Garden.