NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 2nd
(All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (19-9) at Boston Celtics (14-16), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Playing on the road as opposed to competing at home has
been a Jekyll and Hyde scenario for the Memphis Grizzlies.
In the midst of playing six of nine games away from the Volunteer State, the
Grizzlies will pay a visit to the Boston Celtics Wednesday night at TD Garden
and are just 6-6 outside of FedEx Forum (13-3 at home).
Memphis has dropped three of its last four games, including an 88-83 setback
at Indiana Monday afternoon. Zach Randolph's NBA-best 22nd double-double of
the season wasn't enough as he ended with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Marc
Gasol netted 13 points and both Tony Allen and Rudy Gay chipped in 11.
"We need to come out playing the way we used to play," said Randolph, who's
averaging 17.0 points and a career-high 12.5 rebounds. "Playing defense, and
if a guy is open, pass the ball. We just need to make the right play."
The Grizzlies are still the top defensive unit in the league, holding the
opposition to 90.0 ppg. They converted 18 Indiana turnovers into 18 points,
but trailed 61-47 midway through the third quarter. Memphis also had a 40-16
advantage in the paint through the first three quarters and scored only four
points down low in the fourth.
Memphis has held 26 of its last 27 opponents under 100 points. The Celtics are
scoring 95.9 ppg -- 17th in the league. The Grizzlies, who have forced at
least 10 turnovers in 131 consecutive games, are 9-0 when scoring 100-plus
points this season (17-3 in 2011-12).
The Grizz will return home to host Portland on Friday before hitting the road
for three straight games at Phoenix, Sacramento and Golden State.
Meanwhile, Boston completed a four-game road trip with a disappointing 1-3
ledger and will play two straight and seven of nine games in Beantown.
In a 118-96 defeat at the hands of the Kings on Sunday, Paul Pierce and Jason
Terry scored 20 points apiece, while Kevin Garnett added 16 points and 12
rebounds for the Celtics, who have lost three straight by 18 points or more
for the first time since the 1977-78 season.
"Winning is hard. I don't know if all our guys get that," Boston coach Doc
Rivers said. "You have to play hard to win an NBA game. One game. It's
difficult and we're not doing it."
Jeff Green finished with 16 points for Boston. Garnett is one game shy of
tying Sam Perkins (1,286) for 14th on the NBA's all-time games played list.
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who's averaging 13.1 points and 11.6 assists,
is listed as questionable Wednesday because of a bruised right hip. Guard
Avery Bradley could make his season debut versus the Grizzlies and has missed
the first 30 games while recovering from left shoulder surgery. The speedy
Bradley appeared in 64 of the 66 games last season.
The Celtics won the lone meeting with Memphis last season, posting a 98-80
triumph on their home floor on Feb. 5. Boston, which is 9-5 as the host this
season, has won 10 of the last 14 matchups with the Grizzlies, losers in nine
of the 16 games played in Beantown.
01/02 10:30:07 ET
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