The Celtics finished second in the East with a 139–110 victory over the Grizzlies.

Memphis, Tenn. (AP) — Jason Tatum scored 31 points, Jaylen Brown scored 18 and the Boston Celtics seeded second in the former, both with a 139-110 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night in the finale of the regular season. Team.

Al Horford added 13 points as the Celtics shot close to 55% against the short-handed Grizzlies. With Milwaukee losing to Cleveland at the start of Sunday, Boston was able to move to second place with a win. Coach Ime Udoka was aware of the situation as the game unfolded and even made up with the Philadelphia 76ers’ position, even though the Celtics’ victory assured them of a second seed.

Boston will face the winner of the play-in game between Cleveland and Brooklyn.

“We were concerned about ourselves and some people getting some rep,” Udoka said.

Santi Aldama led Memphis with 20 points, and Ziyar Williams finished with 18 points. John Konchar had his first career triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Kyle Anderson scored 16 points.

“It was pretty neat. It was great,” Konchar said. “You can thank my teammates for making the shot.”

Teams take different approaches to the game depending on their place in the standings. Memphis was playing the regular season after finishing second in the Western Conference behind the Phoenix Suns. The Grizzlies sat the bulk of their regular rotation players.

With Milwaukee and Philadelphia jockeying for post-season placement, Boston entered a stalemate for the No. 2–4 seeds. That meant all were playing against the Celtics’ stockpile of regular Grizzlies.

And the Memphis makeshift lineup couldn’t keep pace with the Celtics’ regular rotation.

The Celtics took the lead by shooting 63% in a row in the first half, including adding 11 for 22 from outside the arc. This, together with Memphis, is struggling at 34%, giving the Celtics a 72-49 lead at half-time – matching the most points given by the Grizzlies in the first half of this season.

The Celtics continued to hold the lead in the third period, leading 104–79 with Udoka sitting early for the final quarter.

Most of the postgame discussion was not about the game itself, but looking forward to the postseason.

“We’ve done a little bit of preparation work on Minnesota and the Clippers,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said of a potential first-round matchup. “Obviously things have changed since the last time we played with Paul George (the Clippers).”

He added that the plan “is really just kind of fine-tune our simple game plan in Game 1 that our people can rely on.”

Boston came together after falling below .500 in late January. The Celtics’ play in the last three months gives them post-season confidence.

“It’s exciting,” Horford said. “I don’t know in mid-January if that’s a possibility. We would have decided like 6 or 5. Being in this position is a testament to our group.”

Lobbying for Jenkins.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins doesn’t get much attention on social media, but when guard Jay Morant was told he was pushing for Grizzlies leader to be named coach of the year, he smiled slightly. “I don’t see it, but it’s great,” Jenkins said, adding that it would be a “team award” rather than his personal recognition.

Tip-ins:

Celtics: Nick Stauskas missed his fourth game with a right ankle sprain. … Tatum had 14 points in the first quarter. He converted the game by four points late in the first half. … 72 points scored in the first half, matching the highest total scored by Boston in the first half of this season. The Celtics also scored 72 against Minnesota on March 27. … C Daniel Thies had 11 points and matched his season-high in rebounds with 10, the fourth time he reached that point.

Grizzlies: G Desmond Bain sets a franchise record for free throw shooting percentage at 90.4. The previous record was held by OJ Mayo in the 2008–09 campaign. … the list of injuries includes Steven Adams (pain in left ankle), Dillon Brooks (pain in right hip), Jaren Jackson Jr. (pain in left thigh), Tyce Jones (pain in left arm) and Ja Morant (pain in right knee). pain management). … Desmond Bain and Brandon Clark were listed as suspects, and did not play until they were ruled out.

,

More AP NBA coverage: More

Leave a Comment