COACHING CHANGES EXPANDED MATCHUPS DEPTH CHARTS CURRENT ODDS
NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 22nd (All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (31-23) at Charlotte Bobcats (26-30), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies and Charlotte Bobcats both have playoff hopes and will put their respective winning streaks on the line Saturday at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Grizzlies have won four in a row and are one game off the eighth and final postseason berth in the Western Conference. Charlotte, which is seventh in the East, has made the playoffs once in its history (2009-10) and is riding a three-game win streak.
Memphis enters Saturday's test with the Bobcats on a high note after disposing of the Los Angeles Clippers, 102-96, Friday night at FedExForum. Zach Randolph's 21-point, 11-rebound performance led the Grizzlies to their 16th win in the previous 20 tries.
Marc Gasol added 17 points and 10 rebounds, while James Johnson and Mike Miller scored 15 and 13 points, respectively. Tony Allen, playing for the first time since Jan. 3, netted seven points during a crucial 16-4 run for the Grizzlies. Allen ended with nine points and was bothered by a wrist injury.
"What else can I say? We're happy to have him back," Randolph said of Allen.
Allen is known for his defensive prowess and the Grizzlies are solid as a team on that side of the ball. They are third in opponents' scoring (94.5) and 14-4 since reigning Defensive Player of the Year Gasol returned from a knee issue.
Memphis is 15-9 away from home this season and will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday before heading to Oklahoma City.
The Bobcats will try to win four in a row for the first time since March of 2011 (3/25-3/30) and recorded a 90-87 win over the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night. Al Jefferson continued his impressive season and netted 33 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
Jefferson is averaging 28.1 points and 10.7 rebounds in his last 11 games and has seven double-doubles in that span.
"The thing is, is his efficiency. I mean, in the tilt tonight he's been getting a lot of assists also. I just can't imagine many guys are playing a lot better then him in the league. He's playing great," said Bobcats head coach Steve Clifford about Jefferson.
Kemba Walker and Cody Zeller scored 13 points apiece for Charlotte, which is 9-5 since Jan. 20.
Charlotte has won the first two tests on this three-game homestand and three straight as the host. It is 14-14 at home this season and will play its next four games against the league's best. Charlotte will visit San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Miami on the road, and will return home to face Indiana.
The Bobcats lost both meetings with Memphis a season ago and are winless in the past three matchups between the teams.
02/22 10:37:09 ET