NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, April 16th
(All times Eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (49-32) at Memphis Grizzlies (49-32), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The winner is the seventh seed, the loser the eighth.
That is what's at stake in the Western Conference Wednesday night when the
Memphis Grizzlies host the Dallas Mavericks at FedExForum.
Wednesday's winner will play either the Oklahoma City Thunder or Los Angeles
Clippers, depending on the outcome of two games. Wednesday's loser draws the
No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs.
The Grizzlies became the last team to clinch a postseason berth on Monday when
they knocked off the Phoenix Suns, 97-91, at US Airways Center.
"This is a culmination of not just this week or not just March or April, this
is a culmination of everything we've been through since December," said
Memphis coach David Joerger. "For these guys, it's a happy locker room, a
relived locker room and just a bunch of very proud guys with great chemistry."
Memphis made it to the Western Conference Finals one year ago, but a knee
injury to center Marc Gasol provided adversity through this season.
It took a gutsy win against the feisty Suns to secure a berth.
Zach Randolph and Mike Miller both netted season highs with 32 and 21 points.
With the Grizzlies holding a one-point lead with just over two minutes to
play, Eric Bledsoe and Mike Conley traded pull-up jumpers, Miles Plumlee
tipped in Bledsoe's missed layup and Conley hit a 3-pointer to put Memphis in
front, 93-91, with 1:08 remaining. Goran Dragic then got caught in the air on
the game's decisive possession and threw the ball away, leading to Randolph's
transition layup. Until then, the entire fourth quarter was played as a one-
There were 22 lead changes overall, with 14 of them coming in the fourth
Gasol finished with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Conley scored 14 with
seven assists in the Grizzlies' fourth straight win.
The Grizzlies will take a 13-game home winning streak into Wednesday's pivotal
contest. Memphis hasn't lost on Beale Street since Feb. 5 and the opponent
that night? The Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs punched their postseason ticket on Saturday with a home win over the
Monta Ellis, the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week, had 37
points, Dirk Nowitzki netted 21 of his 23 in the second half to lead the
"We set a goal for the beginning of the season, we had our ups and we had our
downs, but tonight we came together as a team, everyone really wanted to get
this win," Ellis said.
The game went back and forth as Phoenix built a 13-point lead in the second
half. Dallas responded and was eight clear with 2:25 remaining, but it went
down to the wire.
There were several missed shots and when Dallas' Brandan Wright helped secure
the victory with a big block of Eric Bledsoe. The Suns still had a chance,
but Markieff Morris missed a desperation 3-pointer.
The Mavericks have won all three meetings this season with the Grizzlies,
although they are 1-5 in their last six in Memphis.
04/16 10:34:55 ET