Memphis Grizzlies (38-19) at Orlando Magic (16-43), 6 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies' eight-game winning streak was
snapped on Friday night in Miami, but they will try to get back on track 234
miles north against the Orlando Magic.
The Grizz played very well against the defending champion Heat, but LeBron
James took the game over late. Memphis is the league's best defensive team in
terms of opponents' scoring and held James to four points through three
quarters, but the reigning MVP picked up 14 in the decisive fourth quarter.
"We wanted to win (the game) and we couldn't pull it off," said Marc Gasol.
"They made a couple of big plays in the end. LeBron (James) made a big three"
Gasol led all scorers with 24 points. He had nine rebounds, as did Zach
Randolph, who scored 14 after appearing to injure his ankle in the first
Mike Conley and Quincy Pondexter both scored in double figures in the losing
Friday's setback was the Grizzlies' first since Feb. 6 in Atlanta. They went
9-2 in the month of February and head coach Lionel Hollins earned Western
Conference Coach of the Month honors. It was the second time this season
Hollins picked up that honor. He won in November after the team opened the
season 12-2 in October and November.
The Magic failed to build any momentum after their 98-84 drubbing of the 76ers
in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Orlando dropped its next two, both at home, and
surrendered an average of 121.5 ppg.
Against the Houston Rockets, the league's best scoring team, Orlando fell,
118-110. The Magic took a one-point lead into the final quarter, but the
Rockets took the final frame by nine. The Rockets went on an 11-0 run with
five minutes to go to send Orlando to its fifth straight home loss.
"Down the stretch it's only natural for the intensity to pick up on the
defensive end and we just have to take care of the ball better and be smart
about shot selection," said Arron Afflalo.
Tobias Harris, acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks in the J.J. Redick trade, led
the team with a career-high 27 points off the bench. Harris has been a
revelation since the trade, averaging 20.0 ppg in his four games in a Magic
Five Magic players scored in double figures Friday. The team played without
starting point guard Jameer Nelson for the fifth straight game due to a left
patella contusion/strain. He is listed as doubtful for Sunday evening.
The Grizzlies have won three in a row against the Magic, including an 88-82
home victory just a little over a week ago. All three victories during this
run came at home and Memphis has dropped three straight in Orlando.