NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, March 3rd
(All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (33-25) at Washington Wizards (31-28), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - John Wall didn't have a driver's license the last time
the Washington Wizards won seven in a row.
Wall and the Wizards will try to match a nine-year-old winning streak when
they host the Memphis Grizzlies Monday at the Verizon Center.
The Wizards are unbeaten in their last six games and last won seven in a row
from Jan. 2-15, 2005, when Gilbert Arenas ran the floor for the franchise. Now
it's Wall's team and he is coming off a 17-point, 16-assist effort in
Saturday's 122-103 win at Philadelphia.
Wall, whose 16 assists were a career-best, made sure he fed teammate Trevor
Ariza. Ariza scored 24 of his career-high 40 points in the first quarter and
was sharp from the floor, making 14-of-23 shots and 8-of-12 3-pointers.
"He was huge. It was a one-man show," said Wizards center Marcin Gortat, who
had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Gortat has recorded seven straight double-doubles. Martell Webster scored 17
points in the win for the Wizards, who won six in a row to close out the
2011-12 campaign and are fifth in the East standings -- two games behind
Toronto and Chicago.
Washington has averaged 112.5 points since its winning streak began and has
scored at least 115 points in the last three games.
The Wizards will also host Utah on the homestand and have a 15-14 record at
the Verizon Center this season.
Memphis will play its next three games on the road against Washington,
Brooklyn and Chicago, and is 15-11 away from FedExForum.
The Grizzlies have alternated wins and losses in the last five games and won
for the sixth time in eight tries with Saturday's 110-96 victory over the
Cleveland Cavaliers. Zach Randolph put forth a 23-point, 14-rebound effort to
lead the way and also had four steals.
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley scored 22 points apiece, Courtney Lee added 19 and
Tony Allen chipped in 16 off the bench for the Grizzlies, who shot 54.3
percent and erased a 65-54 deficit at halftime by scoring a 56-31 difference
over the final 24 minutes.
"It was effort, energy and focus," Grizzlies coach David Joerger said of the
second half. "(Cleveland) was drilling us in the pick-and-roll. We weren't
playing hard enough."
Memphis sits 1 1/2 games off a playoff berth in the West and is third in
opponents' scoring at 94.9 ppg.
The Grizzlies topped the Wizards last month with a 92-89 decision on Feb. 11
on Beale Street, as Bradley Beal's 37 points on 15-of-24 shooting weren't
enough to lift Washington, which is just 4-12 in the last 16 meetings.
Washington has beaten Memphis in each of the last two matchups in D.C.
03/03 10:26:05 ET