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Preview: Grizzlies (50-32) at Celtics (25-57)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: January 02, 2013 7:30 PM EDT
  

The Boston Celtics are no doubt happy to be home after three dreadful games on the West Coast.

The Memphis Grizzlies haven't been much better, having turned in three straight efforts of fewer than 90 points for the first time.

Both teams are searching for answers heading into Wednesday night's matchup, with the Celtics trying to avoid their first four-game slide.

Boston (14-16) began a four-game trip with a 93-76 victory over Brooklyn on Christmas Day before heading west. That's where the trip went south, with the Celtics falling by an average of 23.0 points in losses to the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State and Sacramento.

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The Celtics surrendered their second-highest point total of the season in a 118-96 loss to the Kings on Sunday. They allowed Sacramento to score 56 points in the paint and were outrebounded 45-35.

"Winning is hard. I don't know if all our guys get that,' coach Doc Rivers said. "You have to play hard to win an NBA game. One game. It's difficult and we're not doing it."

The Celtics are last in the NBA with 38.5 rebounds per contest, and rumors are swirling that they could add a big man. Kevin Garnett's team-high 7.0 boards a game represent his lowest average since his rookie season.

"The reason why guys came back is because of what we built here and that we are known to defend,' Garnett said. "For some reason, we've gotten away from that."

Boston has allowed its last two opponents to shoot 52.9 percent, but defending against Memphis (19-9) may not be too difficult. The Grizzlies have shot 39.1 percent and averaged 84.3 points in their last three games, and their marks of 41.2 percent and 87.3 points since Dec. 17 are the worst among Western Conference teams.

Memphis lost for the third time in four games Monday, 88-83 at Indiana. The Grizzlies led by seven entering the fourth quarter but shot 25.0 percent (5 of 20) over the final 12 minutes.

"We got a little selfish in the fourth quarter," point guard Mike Conley said. "We made a lot of bad turnovers and didn't continue to play our transition game."

Leading scorer Rudy Gay went 3 of 17 from the floor and scored 11 points - 7.0 below his average. Gay has averaged 14.4 points and 37.3 percent shooting in his last seven games.

Zach Randolph was a bright spot with 21 points and 15 rebounds for his league-best 22nd double-double.

Memphis is yielding 90.0 points per game, best in the NBA, but its offensive woes are making it increasingly difficult to take advantage of that stellar defense.

"We haven't committed to sharing the basketball and making the right decisions and that puts too much pressure on the defense," coach Lionel Hollins said.

A matchup to watch is at point guard. Boston's Rajon Rondo is averaging a league-high 11.6 assists and will be up against Conley, second in the NBA with 2.4 steals per game.

The Celtics have taken eight of the last 10 meetings with the Grizzlies.

Boston will receive a boost from the season debut of guard Avery Bradley following shoulder surgery. Bradley developed into a starter last season, paving the way for Ray Allen's departure to Miami.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 MEM  -140   -2.5   180 
 BOS  +120   +2.5   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 MEM  -140   -2.5   180 
 BOS  +120   +2.5   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 MEM  41%   37%   76% 
 BOS  59%   63%   24% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA PREVIEWS
 Wednesday, Jan 2
 
    Bulls at Magic
7:05 PM EDT
    Kings at Cavaliers
7:05 PM EDT
    Wizards at Pacers
7:05 PM EDT
    Trail Blazers at Raptors
7:05 PM EDT
    Grizzlies at Celtics
7:35 PM EDT
    Mavericks at Heat
7:35 PM EDT
    Spurs at Bucks
8:05 PM EDT
    Pelicans at Rockets
8:05 PM EDT
    Nets at Thunder
8:05 PM EDT
    Timberwolves at Jazz
9:05 PM EDT
    76ers at Suns
9:05 PM EDT
    Clippers at Warriors
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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