After an up-and-down stretch that included three straight losses and four in six games, the Boston Celtics are back on a winning streak and are the first NBA team to reach 40 victories this season.
Boston seeks its fourth straight triumph in a Sunday afternoon game against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies, who are 23-5 at home and just 11-16 on the road.
Despite playing without three starters in Jaylen Brown (facial swelling), Marcus Smart (ankle) and Al Horford (knee), the Celtics led wire-to-wire and earned a 127-116 win Friday over the Charlotte Hornets.
Derrick White scored a career-high 33 points on the strength of eight of the team’s 25 3-pointers and Jayson Tatum led Boston with 41.
The Celtics integrated a fresh face into the lineup Friday as center Mike Muscala debuted with his new team just a day after being acquired in a trade from Oklahoma City. He scored 12 points in just 16 minutes, including making his first 3-point attempt.
Muscala fit right into the offense in a game in which the Celtics tied for the third-most 3-point makes in franchise history. Muscala made four of his eight attempts from behind the arc.
The Grizzlies have won back-to-back games following a three-game skid and 1-8 stretch, bouncing back for a 128-107 win Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Memphis was hot from beyond the arc, shooting 40 percent from 3-point range (10 of 25) for only the second time in its past 12 games. That was without newcomer Luke Kennard, the sharpshooter who arrived Friday after being acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers a day earlier.
Ja Morant had 32 points, nine assists and nine rebounds in a similar complete-game performance to his last head-to-head meeting with the Celtics.
The teams have not met since Nov. 7, a 109-106 Boston road win in which Tatum went for 39 points, Malcolm Brogdon had 10 rebounds and Smart dished 12 assists.
Morant had 30 points, eight boards and nine assists in that game.
The Celtics have won eight straight home games in the series.