NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 1st (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (14-18) at Utah Jazz (22-11), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz will kick off the new year with a three-game homestand, starting with tonight's bout versus the Memphis Grizzlies from EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah will also host Detroit and Atlanta, and is 11-6 in Salt Lake City this season. It has lost two of three games since a three-game winning streak and suffered a 100-89 loss in Portland on Thursday.
Deron Williams scored 19 points with eight assists, Paul Millsap had 17 points and Al Jefferson provided 13 points and 10 boards for the Jazz, who fell to 11-5 away from home this season and allowed Wesley Matthews and LaMarcus Aldridge to combine for 57 points.
"We can't keep getting down early; we're going to burn out trying to come back every night," Williams said. "It takes a toll on your body and takes a toll on you mentally."
The Jazz committed 18 turnovers which led to 26 Blazer points. Millsap has now appeared in 355 of a possible 361 games in his NBA career. In injury news for Utah, veteran forward Andrei Kirilenko (back) is questionable for Saturday and has missed back-to-back games.
Memphis will continue a three-game road trip Saturday and has lost four of six games since a season-high four-game winning streak.
The Grizzlies had won two in a row following a three-game slide and opened the trek with Wednesday's 100-98 loss in Sacramento. Tyreke Evans buried a desperation heave from beyond midcourt at the buzzer, helping the Kings end an eight-game losing streak.
Zach Randolph had a season-high 35 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, while Rudy Gay added 16 points for the Grizzlies, who fell to 5-12 away from FedEx Forum this season. Memphis guard O.J. Mayo thought he had sealed the win on a shot with 1.5 seconds to go before Evans' miraculous shot.
"It happened so fast. [Mayo] made the shot and he had no expression on his face and he walked over to the bench so I thought a timeout was called," Evans recalled. "I looked at coach and everyone was spread all around so I just went to get the ball, put it up and it went in."
Randolph is fifth in the NBA with 19 double-doubles this season. He is averaging a double-double for the fifth consecutive season with 18.5 points and a career-high and franchise-record 12.6 rebounds. Since moving to Memphis from Vancouver, the Grizzlies are 7-2 in their first game of the New Year (10-4 all-time). They will also visit the LA Lakers on the road swing.
Thanks in large part to Randolph, Memphis leads the NBA in points in the paint for a second consecutive season, pumping in 47.8 points inside after scoring 51.4 points inside in 2009-10. The Grizzlies lead the league in steals (9.50), forced turnovers (17.6) and points off turnovers (19.9).
Utah defeated Memphis, 94-85, on Dec. 6 this season in Salt Lake City and has won 13 of the last 15 meetings in this series. The Grizzlies are winless in their last seven trips to Utah and haven't won on the road in this series since March 19, 2006.
01/01 10:38:17 ET