Twice Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley tried to set a final sequence into motion, and twice Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley wouldn’t let him get within 30 feet of the hoop. Conley had no choice but to give up the ball in the final seconds of regulation in a tied game Tuesday, and Conley never got inside the 3-point arc while watching teammate Marc Gasol miss a chance at a game winner.
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But Thomas’ jersey number reflects his favorite quarter. After Tuesday’s win, Stevens said of Thomas, “He makes big [shots]. And he likes to take big ones.”
Despite his individual success this season, Thomas has been frustrated that it hasn’t translated to team victories. Boston has now won three straight to shuffle to 16-12 overall. The Celtics sit third in the East but have nine teams lingering within four games behind them. Boston had struggled to close out wins over quality opponents this season, dropping recent heartbreakers to the Rockets, Thunder and Spurs.
Authentic Kids Kevin Zeitler Jersey Tuesday’s win came over a Grizzlies team that started the year 12-0 in games in which the score was within one possession in the final minute.
“[The Grizzlies] were punking us in the first half,” Thomas said during his on-court interview with CSN. “This might turn the season around [for Boston], for real.”
Bradley’s efforts were a reminder of why he earned All-Defense first team honors last season and why he was the top vote-getting guard, finishing third in total votes behind only San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard and Golden State’s Draymond Green.
Bradley, who said before the season that he believes he deserves Defensive Player of the Year consideration, hasn’t exactly had a dominant defensive season.