Memphis Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless was scoreless for three quarters. Suddenly, he couldn't miss.
Bayless and the Grizzlies rallied, got in a defensive mindset and erased a six-point deficit late fourth in the quarter. The cohesiveness down the stretch led to a 95-88 victory on Monday night at FedExForum against the winless Boston Celtics. Bayless poured in 15 points in the final quarter.
"I got rhythm," Bayless said. "I played so bad I missed three layups in the first half. I had to figure something out. You know it just kind of worked out and I was able to make some shots and make up for the bad stuff I did in the first half."
Down 80-74 with 7:16 left to play, Memphis closed the fourth quarter on a 21-8 run.
"I kept looking at my staff saying, 'When should I put in Mike Conley?' And then Jerryd Bayless kept making buckets and I would be silly if I took Jerryd Bayless out of that game," said the Grizzlies first-year head coach Dave Joerger.
Conley and Zach Randolph each scored 15 points. Tony Allen finished with four steals.
"We got into a good rhythm defensively," Joerger said. "Tony Allen really set the tempo, got some steals, and we got into transition. When we get easy buckets it sets our offense up in a good rhythm."
Monday's game marked the fifth of the last seven games that the Grizzlies have won against the Celtics.
Boston and new head coach Brad Stevens are winless in four tries.
"For the most part, the game was turned by Bayless," said Stevens. "They're a deep team, they're a talented team. I thought we did a heck of a job tonight in a lot of ways. Out of four games that we've played, this is the best we've played. But it's not much silver lining for the guys in the locker room or for me right now."
Celtics forward Jeff Green led all scorers with 22 points, tallying 16 in the first half. Forward Jared Sullinger pitched in 16 points off the bench.
"It was tough," Sullinger said. "We had a lot of open shots. We still pushed forward. It's just back to the drawing board like always. Defensively, we really did well, as far as guarding the bigs. They have two really good bigs (Randolph and center Marc Gasol). ...We just couldn't make shots."
NOTE: The Grizzlies will face the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday at FedExForum.