NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, December 17th (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (12-14) at Houston Rockets (10-15), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies will begin a quick tour through the Lone Star State, starting with tonight's showdown with the Houston Rockets from the Toyota Center.
Memphis, which has won a season-high four straight games, will also make a stop in San Antonio and is 4-9 away from FedEx Forum this season.
The Grizzlies extended their winning streak to four games with Wednesday's 113-80 blowout of the Charlotte Bobcats at home, as O.J. Mayo scored a game- high 24 points off the bench and Rudy Gay added 23 points for Memphis, which got 19 points and nine rebounds from Zach Randolph.
"We put them away in the second half. We didn't put ourselves in the hole this time," Gay said after the second-highest margin of victory in franchise history. The largest decision was a 110-63 win over New Jersey in 2003.
Memphis is 8-5 when Mayo comes off the bench, averaging 29.6 bench points in those games compared to 20.6 points in the 13 games prior. It got a season- high 53 points from its reserves and outscored the Bobcats by a 62-32 margin in the paint. It also handed out a season-high 30 assists versus the Bobcats. The Grizzlies lead the NBA in forced turnovers (17.5) and points off turnovers (19.7), while ranking second in steals (9.27).
The Grizzlies improved to 11-4 this season when holding opponents under 100 points (1-10 when allowing triple-digits).
Houston will put a six-game home winning streak on the line Friday night and is coming off Wednesday's 117-105 loss in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant scored 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting to lead the Thunder.
Kevin Martin had 22 points, Luis Scola added 18 and Kyle Lowry provided 15 points for the Rockets, who lost for the third time in their previous eight games and lost the rebounding war, 41-28.
"We've still got a ways to go," said Rockets forward Shane Battier. "We're playing really good basketball at home. We have to find a way to translate that on the road."
The Rockets are 3-11 away from home this season.
Houston defeated Memphis, 127-111, back on Dec. 3 this season on the road and has won six straight and 14 of the past 17 meetings in this series. The Grizzlies are winless in their past eight stops in Houston.
12/17 10:47:53 ET