Thursday, March 23 2023

Celtics, Grizzlies meet with hot hands from 3-point range

When the Grizzlies battle the visiting Boston Celtics on Monday night, Memphis will face a team that’s been sizzling hot from behind the perimeter.

Boston set a franchise record for 3-pointers in a game by tossing in 27 of its 51 shots from deep during a 133-118 road victory against the New York Knicks on Saturday night. Each of the nine Celtics who played in that game made at least one 3-pointer, the first team to do so in NBA history.

Jaylen Brown led the way with 30 points, Jayson Tatum had 26 and Sam Hauser posted a career high with 17. Those three players alone combined for 17 of Boston’s makes from beyond the arc.

The Milwaukee Bucks hold the record for 3-pointers in a game (29), which was set in 2020.

“For the most part, I thought we shot great threes,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said following Saturday’s win. “Our guys are getting comfortable with the fact that when we run good offense and we have good spacing and we read the defense, we’re going to get a great look. I’d say when you’re shooting that volume, there’s going to be some tough ones, but for the most part I think our guys do a great job of shooting the right ones.”

Through their first nine games, the Celtics are averaging 16 3-pointers per game and are shooting 39.3 percent from distance.

“I think we were just real confident in the shots we were getting,” Tatum said. “The way the ball was moving and guys (were) in the right spots getting the shots we want them to shoot, and we were knocking shots down, so that always helps.”

Memphis improved its home record to 4-0 by beating the Washington Wizards 103-97 Sunday night. Memphis guard Desmond Bane led all scorers with 28 points, and Ja Morant added 23. Santi Aldama and Steven Adams each had 10 rebounds.

The Wizards took an 89-88 lead on Rui Hachimura‘s basket with 6:38 to play, but Morant regained the lead for Memphis by making a jumper with 6:17 left. That was the start of a 9-0 run that handed the Grizzlies a 97-89 lead with 3:44 remaining. The Wizards, who trailed by 23 in the third quarter, failed to get closer than six points the rest of the way.

Like the Celtics, the Grizzlies can also knock down treys. Memphis entered Sunday’s game against Washington shooting 39.5 percent from behind the arc this season. Dillon Brooks matched his career high by making six 3-pointers in Friday night’s 130-99 victory over Charlotte.

“We’ve got a lot of options (on offense),” Brooks said. “There’s going to be a lot of open shots. You’ve just got to step into them and knock them down.”

The Celtics were without centers Al Horford (lower back stiffness) and Luke Kornet (personal reasons) against the Knicks. It was Boston’s second game in as many nights, and they have been giving Horford the night off in those situations.

–Field Level Media

Source: Yahoo Sports


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