Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives toward the basket past Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke, left, in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

By KEN POWTAK Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Derrick White scored 23 points to help a shorthanded Boston team hold off Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies 119-109 on Sunday.

Sam Hauser added 20 points, tying his career-high with six 3-pointers, Al Horford had 16 points and Payton Pritchard 12 for Boston, which won its fourth straight. Celtics star Jayson Tatum didn’t have his sharpest game, finishing with 16 points but making 3 of 16 shots and missing 7 of 8 3-point attempts.

Morant led the Grizzlies with 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds, while Desmond Bane scored 18 and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 15 points and seven rebounds.

Boston was without starting point guard Marcus Smart, who missed his 10th straight with a bone bruise in his right ankle, as well as forward Jaylen Brown (facial fracture he suffered from an inadvertent elbow by Tatum( and reserve guard Malcolm Brogdon (sore Achilles).

The Celtics were clinging to a one-point lead early in the final quarter before White scored six points — with a conventional three-point play and 3-pointer from the right wing — during a 16-7 spurt that moved them ahead 104-94 with just over four minutes to play.

Horford nailed three 3-pointers in the final five minutes.

Trailing by 13 at halftime, the Grizzlies used a 13-point third quarter by Morant that featured one-handed driving baskets, flips in the lane and twisting shots to wipe out the deficit, taking the lead briefly late in the third,


Grizzlies: Center Steven Adams missed his 10th consecutive game with a knee injury. … Morant missed his first three free-throw attempts. … They held a two-point lead after one quarter despite hitting only 2 of 9 3s while Boston was 6 of 13. They finished just 12-for-34 from beyond the arc.

Celtics: Pritchard hit his first three shots from the floor — all 3s. … Boston went 21 of 51 on 3s.


The Grizzlies’ road struggles continued, dropping them to 11-17 away from home.

“How do you correct that?” coach Taylor Jenkins said before the game. “It’s got to be a mentality, for sure, obviously you trust all the work you’re putting in. … Guys have to be even more confident together on the road. We know what our standard is and that’s what it’s about and we don’t live up to that standard on the road.”


Jeannine Russell, wife of late Celtics legend Bill Russell, was seated courtside. She got a standing ovation when the PA announcer welcomed her as she was shown on the videoboard.


Grizzlies: Host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, starting a stretch of three of four at home.

Celtics: At the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday in a matchup of the league’s top two teams.


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