By KYLE HIGHTOWER, AP Sports Writer
BOSTON — Jayson Tatum scored 23 points before leaving the game in the third quarter with a groin injury as the Boston Celtics routed the Memphis Grizzlies 119-95 on Wednesday night.
Daniel Theis had 14 points, Enes Kanter finished with 13 points and eight rebounds to help Boston win its second straight. Memphis has lost two in a row since posting a season-high, seven-game win streak.
Jonas Valanciunas led the Grizzlies with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Solomon Hill each added 13 points.
Tatum limped to the locker room with a right groin strain with 4:43 left in the third. He returned to the bench at the start of fourth quarter with his right leg wrapped, but was still noticeably in pain and did not return.
But Boston didn’t need him, using an 22-3 run — capped by a 3-pointer by Gordon Hayward — to increase their 12-point halftime lead to 87-54. Kemba Walker, Hayward and Marcus Smart scored 18 of Boston’s first 20 points in the period. Boston was 6 of 7 from the 3-point line. It was the worst third quarter of the season for Memphis, which was outscored by 22 points.
The Celtics’ lead grew as high as 38 points in the fourth.
Boston missed 13 of its first 17 field goal attempts, including going 1 of 8 from the 3-point line. Walker, Hayward and Smart scored just six points between them in the first half, combining to go just 1 of 16 from the field.
It helped Memphis, which had the highest scoring offense last month (118.7 per game since Dec. 9), to take a 42-35 lead in the second quarter.
But Boston got its footing and used a 23-0 run to take a 58-42 advantage. The Grizzlies went scoreless for 6:51 until Valanciunas scored with just 1.3 seconds left before halftime.
Grizzlies: F Bruno Caboclo missed his third straight game with left knee soreness.
Celtics: F Jaylen Brown sat out with a sprained right ankle. … Tatum has scored in double figures for 33 consecutive games.
Grizzlies: Visit Detroit on Friday.
Celtics: At Orlando on Friday.
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