Davis hit a 12-foot jumper with 3.9 seconds remaining, lifting
the Celtics to a 90-88 victory over the Grizzlies on Wednesday
"They were overplaying Paul and I couldn't get the ball to
him," Davis said. "I wanted the opportunity to hit that shot and
I'm happy I made it."
The Grizzlies' Mike Miller hit a 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left
to tie it at 88 before Davis hit an open jumper. Miller's 3-point
shot fell short at the buzzer.
"We played hard but Ricky made a good shot at the end of the
game," Miller said. "The bottom line is they won by two and in
the Western Conference, if you slip up a few games, you could be on
the outside looking in very quickly."
"The (Celtics) coaching staff has had time to work with the
whole group," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said. "At this point
in the season, they have gone through the experimental stages and
they have a better feel of what they want to do and who they want
to go to."
After Jason Williams' 3-pointer cut the Grizzlies' deficit to
87-85 with 1:52 remaining, Gary Payton hit a free throw. On the
next two Memphis possessions, Williams and Brian Cardinal each
Memphis took its only lead of the fourth quarter at 78-77 on
Dahntay Jones' 3-pointer, but the Celtics responded with an 8-0 run
and never relinquished the lead.
"We made it hairy but I'll tell you we are doing pretty well
right now as far as winning games and fourth quarters," Celtics
coach Doc Rivers said.
The Grizzlies, who beat the Celtics earlier this season 117-109,
have won 16 of their last 22 games.
Stromile Swift led the Grizzlies with 19 points. Cardinal
chipped in 17 in a reserve role.
Both sides lost key starters in the third quarter. Swift left
the game with an ankle sprain and Raef LaFrentz was ejected for the
Celtics after receiving a double technical.
Payton's lay-in capped off a 13-4 run to start the second
quarter to give Boston a 42-32 lead. Swift closed the gap to 50-43
at halftime when he scored 11 points over the final 3:35 of the
Payton had 13 points, six rebounds and five assists for the
Celtics, who now begin a four-game road trip.
^Notes:@ Celtics forward Al Jefferson was activated from the injured
list after missing 10 games. ... Memphis is 4-5 in Boston. ... The
last nine games between the Grizzlies and Celtics have been decided
by eight points or less. ... Fratello coached Rivers when Rivers
played for the Hawks from 1983-1990. ... 15 players scored in the