NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, March 4th (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (31-30) at Chicago Bulls (31-29), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies will continue their fight towards a playoff berth when they make a stop in Chicago tonight to take on the Bulls at the United Center.
Memphis has alternated wins and losses over its last 10 games and posted its franchise-record fifth straight road win with a 104-100 victory at New Orleans on Wednesday night. Mike Conley had 26 points and seven assists for the Grizzlies, who got big stops at the end of the contest and sit 4 1/2 games off the final postseason spot in the Western Conference.
"It was big for us to get the stops that we had," Conley said. "Marc [Gasol] did a great job of getting over on [Darren] Collison when he came over to the basket and we did a great job of boxing out and rebounding in that stretch. That's what we needed to do when it came down the stretch of the game."
All-Star Zach Randolph added 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Rudy Gay netted 15 points to help Memphis halt a nine-game losing streak in the Big Easy. The Grizzlies are 13-17 as the guest.
The banged-up Bulls have lost two in a row since winning six of seven games, and opened a four-game homestand with Monday's 116-92 loss versus the Atlanta Hawks. All-Star Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 24 points and left the game briefly with a knee injury. Rose is probable for tonight.
Brad Miller had 15 points and seven rebounds for Chicago, which played without big men Luol Deng (knee) and Joakim Noah (foot). Noah is out indefinitely and Deng is listed as questionable for Thursday's game. The absence of Deng and Noah was huge since Atlanta earned a 63-37 edge on the boards, including 22 offensive rebounds.
"Obviously that was the difference in the game," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. "They would miss and go get it and control the tempo of the game."
Chicago is 19-10 in the Windy City and tied with Milwaukee for the sixth seed in the East standings. It will also host Dallas and Utah on the residency.
The Grizzlies and Bulls are meeting for the first time this season and have split the last eight matchups in the series. Chicago, however, is unbeaten in the last five contests as the host.
03/04 10:29:18 ET