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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Avery Bradley's Return Can't Help The Celtics Avoid Their Fourth Straight Loss

Remember when we were all excited about the Celtics when this season started in October? It seems like a long time ago when it actually was only a few months back. Boston (14-17, 9-6 home) lost their fourth straight game, 93-83 to Memphis (20-9, 7-6 away) tonight at TD Garden.

All four losses by the Celts have been by double-digits. Avery Bradley (4 points, 1 steal in 20 minutes) played his first game of 2012-13 but it'll take time for the defensive stopper to get acclimated to this currently lifeless squad. The loss dropped Boston a season-low three games under .500.

You don't hear much about them because they are in the Western Conference and a small market but the Grizzlies are a very solid team. They are deep, tough, they play defense and each guy seems to know his role (a rarity in today's NBA). Mike Conley led Memphis with a season-high 23 points and nine assists, UConn's Rudy Gay had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists while former Celtic Tony Allen had 15 points and five rebounds in his return.

Things were going so good for Memphis that Darrell Arthur (10 points) hit the first two 3-pointers of his NBA career (5 years) and Marreese Speights added 10 points and six rebounds off the bench as well.

Paul Pierce had a quiet 17 points and seven rebounds, Kevin Garnett put up 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Rajon Rondo notched 11 points and 10 assists. Boston's bench actually outscored Memphis' 37-25 so for once you couldn't blame them. Jeff Green had 10 points to led the Celtics' reserves.

The Celts face the Pacers (19-13, 1st place in Central Division) on Friday (8 p.m., CSN) at the Garden. After a slow start, Indiana has figured things out and they will be a tough matchup for the suddenly reeling Celtics.

UPDATE 1/4: Kris Joseph was sent back to Maine.

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