Leon Powe and Tony Allen returned to the TD Garden yesterday to lead the Memphis Grizzlies past the Boston Celtics in a hard fought 90-87 battle, strengthening their case to keep the eighth seed in the Western Conference at 40-32 with post-season play just around the corner. The former Celtics and members of the 2008 championship team received a warm welcome from the Boston crowd during team introductions. Powe hit 5-of-6 from the field for 13 points and Allen followed up with eight points and seven rebounds.
“They’re both really tough, physical guys. They’re veteran guys who have been to the mountaintop and won,” said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. “This is our second year in a row coming in here and getting a win, so this is special. But I’m sure for those guys this is extra special.”
Paul Pierce led the Celtics in scoring with 22 points and Ray Allen netted three from downtown for 14. Rajon Rondo contributed six points, seven steals, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. Despite the all around remarkable stat line, Rondo failed to find Pierce and missed an ill-advised floater with 18 seconds left in regulation with Boston trailing 88-87. Pierce had a chance to tie it up at the buzzer but didn’t connect on his final shot attempt. The Celtics will next host the Charlotte Bobcats Friday, March 25th before their scheduled string of road games in Minnesota, Indiana and San Antonio.