NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 3rd (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (30-30) at New Orleans Hornets (31-30), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams holding on for dear life in the Western Conference playoff picture meet in the Big Easy Wednesday, as the struggling New Orleans Hornets play host to the Memphis Grizzlies.
After a 106-92 setback at the hands of San Antonio on Monday, the Hornets find themselves four games behind Portland for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Jeff Bower's club hopes the sight of the Grizz can get them back on track since Memphis has lost nine straight on the road to the Hornets.
The Grizzlies have been Bipolar recently and are 4 1/2 games behind the Blazers after losing their seventh straight home game to them on Monday. Memphis has won four straight on the road, however, and will be shooting for a franchise-record fifth consecutive win as the visitor tonight.
Brandon Roy scored a game-high 25 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out five assists on Monday, helping Portland erase a double-digit halftime deficit en route to a 103-93 victory.
Zach Randolph totaled 22 points and seven rebounds to lead the Grizzlies, who have alternated wins and losses over the past nine games.
Marc Gasol went for 15 points and 11 boards, and Rudy Gay had 19 and seven.
"We didn't come out with the same energy in the second half," Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins said. "We didn't keep attacking like we were in the first half."
The Hornets, meanwhile, are coming off a 106-92 home loss to San Antonio on Monday. George Hill poured in 23 points and grabbed five rebounds in that one for the Spurs.
Rookie Marcus Thornton finished with 30 points and seven boards for New Orleans, which has dropped two straight and four of five overall. Emeka Okafor ended with 18 points and seven rebounds, while David West had 13 and nine in defeat.
"Obviously the Spurs play very efficient basketball and they're not going to beat themselves," Bower said. "You have to generate a lot of activity on the offensive end and defensive end. The Spurs were able to do a really good job with their offense and they're hard to score on and played a really solid basketball game."
Rookie point guard Darren Collison, starting in place of injured All-Star Chris Paul, was held to 10 points on Monday. The Western Conference Rookie of the Month for February is averaging 20.5 points and 9.4 assists in the last 15 games in place of Paul, who is not expected to return from arthroscopic knee surgery for at least a couple more weeks.
Overall, the Hornets have won three straight and 15 of their last 17 encounters with Memphis.
03/03 10:43:49 ET