In the final moments on Friday’s Grizzlies loss to the Boston Celtics, 103-97, Boston forward Antoine Walker took a step and threw a desperation heave from three-quarters court. The ball swished for the super-long three and time expired on the Grizzlies and the Memphis crowd of over 17,000. Ok, so the shot wasn’t necessarily a desperation one. The Celtics already held a three point lead over the Grizzlies, and Walker, who scored a game high 38 points, only did the shot to see if the ball would go in. The score was meaningless, but the gesture was significant: In this fourth quarter, the Boston Celtics could do whatever they pleased against the Grizzlies. “It was a very disappoint loss,” Memphis Grizzlies coach Sidney Lowe said after the game. “We didn’t execute properly in the last couple of minutes. All we had to do was the same thing we had done to get the lead. We just stopped doing that.” Memphis came of the games on fire, hitting their first five shots, before the Celtics evened the score in the first half. What ensued was a game long see-saw battle of scores with fifteen lead changes and fifteen moments of tied-score basketball. However, overall the Grizzlies held a definite edge, with six players scoring in the double-digits. Forward Pau Gasol once again lead the way with 22 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and six blocks. Forward Grant Long scored 19 points, guard Jason Williams scored 17, and center Tony Massenburg, guard Shane Battier, and guard Will Solomon each scored 11 points for the Grizzlies. In addition, Williams handed out nine assists, and Massenburg pulled down nine boards. “We played a great game,” Gasol said. “We didn’t make good choices at the end. We gave up three plays for three points. We didn’t score, and they shot very well.” Gasol says that this sort of loss is “one of the toughest. It hurts. You expect to win, you work, you’re four minutes away. And you don’t know what happened. You lost. You can’t imagine the feeling.” The Celtics relied many on Walker’s performance, but also saw good play by fellow All-Star forward Paul Pierce, who scored 20 points, from guard Tony Delk who scored 11 points, and from center Vitaly Potapenko who scored 10 points. Memphis continues its four game home stand with the New Jersey Nets coming to the Pyramid on Sunday, March 17.


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