Gerald Green added a season-high 19 points and Jae Crowder scored 17 for Boston, which won for the sixth time in seven games and beat the Grizzlies for the second time in a week. The Celtics needed overtime and a career-high 44 points from Thomas for a 112-109 win in Memphis last Tuesday.
Marc Gasol had 26 points and nine assists for Memphis. Zach Randolph scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help keep the Grizzlies close and pulled down 10 rebounds. Tony Allen had 17 points and eight rebounds for Memphis, which was coming off a 112-102 loss in Orlando the night before but hung with Boston until the final minute.
The Grizzlies, who fell to 8-1 in the second of back-to-back games this season, have lost five of seven.
After falling behind by 13 in the second quarter, Memphis pulled within 56-48 at halftime and cut the margin to 69-67 on Allen’s layup with 5:16 left in the third.
Boston led 84-77 after three, but the Grizzlies kept within range behind Randolph and Gasol in the fourth quarter. Randolph scored Memphis’ first six points of the period and Gasol pounded the Celtics inside and out, converting a three-point play early and adding a 3-pointer with 5 minutes remaining to cut Boston’s lead to 100-97.
The Celtics didn’t falter, getting a pair of free throws from Green and a three-point play by Thomas to make it 105-97 with 3:06 left. They put away Memphis down the stretch after the Grizzlies pulled within 105-101 on a 3-pointer by James Ennis III.
Grizzlies: Fell to 9-5 in December, remaining tied for the franchise record for most wins in the month. … Mike Conley (left big toe), Chandler Parsons (rest) and Brandan Wright (left foot) did not dress. … The Grizzlies, ranked second in the NBA in points allowed (97.7 per game), have given up more than 100 points in three straight and four of five.
Celtics: Kelly Olynyk picked up his fourth foul with 5:15 left in the second quarter. … Green’s previous high for the season was nine points. He scored 10 in the second quarter alone Tuesday and Amir Johnson, the only Boston starter not to score in double figures, pulled down 10 rebounds to go with his four points.
Grizzlies: Host Oklahoma City on Thursday, then open a four-game California road trip at Sacramento on New Year’s Eve.
Celtics: Visit the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.