Pierce scores 19, leads balanced Celtics past Grizzlies for 11th straight win

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The Boston Celtics stretched their winning streak to an impressive 11 games with another solid performance on the road.
Paul Pierce scored 19 points, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo added 18 apiece and the Celtics beat the Grizzlies 110-105 on Monday night.
"We've been in this situation, and we don't get rattled on the road," Pierce said after Boston improved to 12-1 away from home. "I think it is all about experience, bottom line."
Rasheed Wallace added 15 points, while Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett each scored 13. Rondo had nine of Boston's 25 assists.
Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 23 points and O.J. Mayo had 21. Zach Randolph added 20 for Memphis, which has lost two of three.
The game was tight throughout, with Boston holding its biggest lead at 103-95 after Rondo's layup with 2:49 left. Memphis answered with six straight points, including a pair of baskets from Mayo to get within two with 1:29 to go.
But Garnett's 21-foot jumper from the top of the key stopped the rally, and Allen sealed it for the Celtics by hitting a three-pointer as the shot clock was running out with 17.5 seconds left.
Officials reviewed Allen's basket to confirm that it was a three-pointer and occurred before the shot clock expired.
"We improvised a little bit," Allen said of gathering up the ball with about four seconds left on the shot clock. "Then I looked up (at the basket) and it was like three (seconds), and I said: 'This has got to go up.' That's one of those things where when you are aware of the clock, you know what kind of shot you've got to get up."
Elsewhere in the NBA it was: Philadelphia 117 GoldenState 101; Dallas 94 New Orleans 90; Orlando 106 Indiana 98; Minnesota 110 Utah 98; Denver 102 Oklahoma City 93; and Los Angeles Clippers 97 Washington 95.
At Memphis,Tenn., Boston shot 53 per cent on the night to Memphis' 51 per cent. The Celtics were 10-of-20 from beyond the arc, but the Grizzlies made only one of their 13 long-range shots.
Boston committed 12 turnovers compared to 10 for Memphis.
"We couldn't get stops at the end," Randolph said. "The last two or three minutes, they made plays, and we couldn't get stops."
Marc Gasol scored 15 points for the Grizzlies, while Mike Conley and Sam Young had 11 apiece.
Conley's 16-foot jumper with less than a second left in the first half sent Memphis to the locker room with a 55-54 lead. Gay had 17 points for the Grizzlies, while Mayo scored 11.
Rondo had 12 points for Boston, while Pierce scored 11. The Celtics shot 54 per cent in the first two periods.
The Grizzlies scored 52 points in the paint, compared to 46 for Boston.
"We didn't do our best, obviously," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Our defence was not very good. They made shots. They beat us on the hustle board, and in a lot of areas. Other than that, we had some good execution down the stretch."
Boston got effective inside play from Wallace, who had 10 points in the half - most of them when he was guarded by Randolph.
By the end of the third, there had been 14 ties and 18 lead changes. Neither team had led by more than five points.
But the Celtics were able to put some distance between them and the Grizzlies as Memphis appeared to tire late in the third. Allen connected on a three-pointer with 1:41 left in the quarter, helping Boston carry an 85-81 lead into the fourth.
"I think that was physical fatigue and just settling," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said of the third quarter. "I got on them about it, and we got back to attacking the basket."
But down the stretch, Boston was able to make the key plays. Still, the Celtics noted improvement from Memphis teams of the past.
"They're right on out heels, man," Pierce said. "If they grow together and continue to play together, they'll be right there.
"It's unfortunate that they're in the Western Conference. If they were in the East, they would probably be a top-four seed right now."
The difference between the teams is experience and familiarity.
"We've been together," Rivers said. "That's our advantage. It's been the same starting five for the last three years. We have veterans coming off the bench. We've played a lot of games together. There's a great confidence that if the game is close, we can win the game."
76ers 117 Warriors 101
At Philadelphia, Thaddeus Young had 26 points and 14 rebounds and Allen Iverson scored 20 points as the 76ers snapped a 12-game losing streak.
Mavericks 94 Hornets 90
At Dallas, J.J. Barea scored a season-high 23 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored four of his season-low 10 in the final 59 seconds for the Mavericks.
Magic 106 Pacers 98
At Orlando, Fla., Dwight Howard overcame a slow start to finish with 21 points and 23 rebounds for the Magic.
Timberwolves 110 Jazz 108
A Salt Lake City, Jonny Flynn drove for the go-ahead layup with three seconds left as Minnesota beat Utah for the second time this season.
Nuggets 102 Thunder 93
At Denver, Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points - his fourth straight game with at least 30 - as the Nuggets beat Oklahoma City for the fifth straight time.
Clippers 97 Wizards 95
At Los Angeles, Eric Gordon matched his season high with 29 points and hit his final free throw with 11.3 seconds left, and Washington's Earl Boykins turned the ball over moments later to seal the Los Clippers' victory.

Organizations: Boston Celtics, Grizzlies

Geographic location: Boston, Memphis, Mayo Oklahoma City Memphis,Tenn. Philadelphia Dallas Orlando, Fla. Salt Lake City Minnesota Utah Denver Los Angeles Washington

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