NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, December 31st (All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (19-8) at Indiana Pacers (17-13), 3:00 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Now that the Memphis Grizzlies have returned to the win column, putting consecutive victories together is again the main focus.
The Grizzlies target back-to-back triumphs when they visit the Indiana Pacers Monday afternoon in what will be the first in five of six road assignments.
Memphis halted a two-game slide with Saturday's 81-72 decision over the Denver Nuggets and received 19 points from Rudy Gay in his return to the lineup after he missed Wednesday's game against Philadelphia due to personal reasons.
"His worth was definitely shown today. He carried us down the stretch and made big boy baskets down the stretch," Grizzlies guard Tony Allen said of Gay. "It's a great team win. Hopefully, we can take some of these things and carry it over into the next game."
Zach Randolph added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Grizzlies, winners in five of the past seven games. The Grizzlies used a 10-0 run, engineered by eight points from Gay, in the fourth quarter to pull away and got just six points from Marc Gasol, who is still averaging a career-best 14.3 ppg.
The Grizzlies rank second in the NBA in points allowed per game (90.1 ppg) and have forced at least 10 turnovers in 131 games in a row. They're scheduled to visit Boston on Wednesday before returning home for a matchup with Portland, then will head west for three games at Phoenix, Sacramento and Golden State.
Indiana will play two straight and six of its next seven games at home and had a four-game winning streak cut short with Saturday's 109-100 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
David West did his best for the Pacers with a game-high 29 points and Paul George registered 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in defeat. George Hill netted 15 points in Indiana's second loss in the previous nine tries.
The Hawks, who didn't have star Josh Smith due to injury, have won four straight and 13 of the last 15 versus the Pacers overall.
"They were just too much for us tonight," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We were very outside of ourselves with many, many mistakes and many, many breakdowns. It was just one of those nights."
Indiana has won four in a row at home and is 9-3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers lost the lone meeting with Memphis a season ago and are winless in the past five matchups in this series. The Grizzlies, though, have dropped 12 of the last 15 contests in Indiana.
12/31 10:30:17 ET