NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 14th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (26-41) at Memphis Grizzlies (36-31), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Barely clinging to the eighth and final postseason slot in the Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies hope to get back on track tonight versus the visiting Los Angeles Clippers from FedEx Forum.
Memphis is just 1 1/2 games ahead of Phoenix and two games in front of Utah in the standings. Houston is only three games behind the Grizzlies, losers in two straight and three of their last five games.
In Saturday's 118-85 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Heat, O.J. Mayo scored 19 points and Marc Gasol provided 15 points and seven rebounds for Memphis, which shot 39 percent and turned the ball over 13 times. Mike Conley scored only two points but handed out a game-high 10 assists.
"We were just out of sync. We didn't make shots we normally make," said Conley, who shot 1-for-11 from the field.
It was Memphis' worst loss of the season. The Grizzlies, who own a 22-10 home mark, are still 24-14 since Christmas and lead the NBA in forced turnovers (16.7) and steals (9.28). Zach Randolph had 13 points and nine rebounds against Miami, and is two double-doubles shy of 300 in his career.
Mayo is three steals from passing Pau Gasol (247) for 10th in team history.
Meanwhile, the Clippers will put the finishing touches on a five-game road trip tonight and got back into the win column with Saturday's 122-101 win over the Washington Wizards in DC.
Blake Griffin scored 26 points in the first half and also grabbed five rebounds. He was able to rest in the fourth quarter, while Eric Bledsoe and Mo Williams scored 23 and 22 points, respectively, for Los Angeles, which rebounded from a loss at New Jersey that halted a four-game winning streak. LA blew a 20-point lead to the Nets and adjusted one night later.
"Teams are going to make runs, but I thought we responded better tonight with some better execution and we shot the ball better, which put pressure on them," said Clippers head coach Vinny del Negro.
The Clippers are 3-1 on the road trip and 8-26 as the visitor. They will return home for a four-game residency versus the Sixers, Cavs, Suns and Wizards. Griffin is still one double-double away of matching Elton Brand's Los Angeles record of 55 established during the 2001-02 season. Bob McAdoo holds the franchise record with 69 double-doubles set in 1974-75, when the franchise was formerly known as the Buffalo Braves. Griffin passed the 53 double-doubles mark set by Michael Cage in 1986-87.
Williams is 5-2 in the Clippers' lineup and is averaging 18.0 points, 6.0 assists and 2.4 rebounds in that stretch.
Memphis downed the Clippers, 84-83, on Dec. 11 this season at Staples Center and has won four of the previous six meetings between the teams.
03/14 10:58:30 ET