NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 18th (All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (10-14) at Dallas Mavericks (14-10), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The start of a three-game homestand for the Dallas Mavericks got off to a good start and they will try to stay dominant in Big D Wednesday versus the slumping Memphis Grizzlies.
The well-rested Mavericks are 10-2 at American Airlines Center and halted a two-game slide with a 106-93 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Brandan Wright scored 19 points in his season debut and Jose Calderon added 18 for the Mavs, who were without head coach Rick Carlisle and star forward Dirk Nowitzki due to unspecified illnesses.
Wright, who made 9-of-10 shots and grabbed six rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench, was recovering from a fractured left shoulder.
"It was great to see him out there. His athleticism on defense, on offense, all of those in-between shots that we know he's really good at - he showed us that again," Mavs assistant coach Monte Mathis said. "He did a great job with the game plan, the schemes on defense. He's just an experienced guy, so it's great to have him back."
Shawn Marion registered 13 points and 12 rebounds, while veteran Vince Carter had 15 points and a season-best nine assists for the Mavs, who grabbed a 75-45 lead in the second half and were ahead by as many as 34 points. The Mavs have won four of their last six games overall and back-to-back contests at home.
Dallas scored a season-high 38 first-quarter points against Milwaukee and is 8-2 this season when posting 30 or more points in the first 12 minutes.
Dallas will end the homestand Friday versus Toronto and hopes to have Nowitzki back Wednesday. He is probable versus the Grizzlies and has scored at least 20 points in nine of his last 13 games. Nowitzki needs 11 steals for 1,000 in his career and 77 points to pass Alex English (25,613) for 13th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies have lost a season-high four straight games and sustained a 96-92 loss at home to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
Zach Randolph did all he could to lift the Grizz with 18 points and 16 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to prevent them from losing for the sixth time in seven tries. Tony Allen scored 16 points and both Jerryd Bayless and Jon Leuer ended with 13 for Memphis, which shot 40.7 percent and remained winless in its last three games on Beale Street.
The Grizzlies were behind the eight ball right away and trailed 34-24 following the first quarter. After Memphis took the next two stanzas, the Lakers recorded a 29-25 edge the decisive fourth quarter.
"What I wasn't pleased with was that we eased into a game that we needed to start quickly," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said.
Memphis guard Mike Conley sat out with a left thigh contusion and is questionable for Wednesday's game. Mike Miller (ankle) and Tayshaun Prince (knee) are also questionable against the Mavericks.
The Grizzlies will also visit New York on their short trip and have a 5-4 record as the guest. They lost in Dallas, 111-99, on Nov. 2 and have still won seven of the past 10 meetings between the teams. Dallas, though, is 21-4 in the last 25 encounters as the host.
12/18 10:30:22 ET