NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 26th (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (10-7) at Los Angeles Clippers (9-6), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Memphis Grizzlies leading scorer Rudy Gay was averaging more than 20 points during his team's season-high seven-game winning streak, but was held in check the last time out in a loss at Portland.
Gay and the Grizzlies aim to start a new winning streak when they resume a four-game road trip tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Memphis was one win away from matching a franchise-best eight-game winning streak set from Jan. 11-25, 2004 and dropped a 97-84 decision to the Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Gay, who is averaging a team-best 18.4 ppg, posted 11 points on 5-of-15 shooting and O.J. Mayo recorded a team-high 20 points off the bench.
Marc Gasol had an off night, ending with seven points, four rebounds and three assists for the Grizzlies, who shot 37.8 percent and were outrebounded by a 50-39 margin. Memphis also sank just 3-of-14 three-pointers and was averaging 102.0 points during the win streak.
"We gave all we had," said Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins, "it just wasn't enough tonight. That was simply the bottom line."
Memphis is also 9-4 since All-Star forward Zach Randolph went down on January 1 with a torn MCL. Randolph is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks of action.
The Grizzlies, who were playing their second straight game and fourth in five days, are 4-5 away from Beale Street this season and will close out the journey Saturday at Phoenix. The last time Memphis lost two in a row was during a three-game slide from Jan. 6-10. It had won three straight on the road until losing at Portland and is a game behind idle San Antonio for the top spot in the Southwest Division.
Los Angeles has alternated wins and losses over its last six games and dropped a 96-91 decision to the rival Lakers last night. Blake Griffin registered a game-high 26 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while Chris Paul returned from a five-game absence because of a hamstring injury to post four points and 12 assists for the Clippers. LA went 3-2 without Paul in the lineup.
"It was a frustrating loss, but it was good to get Chris out there," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I thought we made them earn it at the end. We didn't execute a couple of plays down the stretch that hurt us."
Caron Butler and Mo Williams both had 16 points in a losing effort. Williams was averaging 25.6 points in his previous three games.
The Clippers are 8-2 as the host this season and will hit the road to Denver following tonight's tilt with Memphis.
Los Angeles and Memphis have split the past eight meetings between the teams, but the Clippers are riding a modest two-game winning streak in the series. The Grizzlies have lost seven of nine meetings as the guest against the Clips.
Griffin posted 18.3 points and 11.0 rebounds in four games against the Grizzlies last season. Gay only appeared in one of those contests, posting 12 points in 44:00 minutes of an 84-83 win on Dec. 11 in Hollywood.
01/26 10:37:01 ET