Two rugged practices that made Rick Pitino feel like he was back at Kentucky left the coach of the Boston Celtics feeling a lot better about his team after they pounded the Vancouver Grizzlies 101-77 Thursday night.
"We were making our minds up that we were going to get better at the defensive end. Either that or we were going to kill all our players. It was either one or the other."
"A lot of trash-talking," Walker said of the practices the Celtics ran following their 105-92 loss Monday at Portland. "But we didn't want to leave it at practice. I think our frustration (of recent performances) led to good play tonight."
The Celtics led from the opening tip, frustrating the Grizzlies with excellent help defense against Vancouver, which played its first game at home after a 2-2 Eastern road swing.
The Grizzlies were held to a season-low 11 points in the first quarter, missing 19 of 23 from the field and committing eight turnovers. The low point game early in the second period. Trailing 33-14, the Grizzlies had to call a timeout just to inbound the ball after a Boston basket.
"All I can say was that was a stinker," said a terse Vancouver coach Lionel Hollins. "We were outhustled, outplayed and obviously out-shot. The whole thing was we didn't have a lot of fight."
Kenny Anderson added 21 points on 11-of-21 shooting for the Cetics. In addition, he held Vancouver point guard Mike Bibby to 11 points, a far cry from his effort in their previous meeting when Bibby hit six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 33 points in a 112-103 Vancouver win Jan. 10.
"It wasn't about getting back at him. It was about getting a win," Anderson said. "We've played well on this trip and deserved a win because of the way we played at both ends of the floor."
Grizzlies center Bryant Reeves was an early casualty, suffering a sprained right knee 6:03 into the contest. He did not return. The lack of an interior presence hurt the Grizzlies, who were outrebounded 44-32.
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