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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, February 23rd (All times eastern)

Memphis Grizzlies (30-23) at Washington Wizards (30-22), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of squads aiming to get their post-All-Star slates off on the right foot go head-to-head this evening, when the Washington Wizards host the Memphis Grizzlies at the MCI Center.

The Wizards will hopefully be back to full strength tonight, as star guard Larry Hughes (thumb) and forward Kwame Brown (ankle) are listed as questionable. Hughes, who is averaging 21.2 points, 5.3 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 2.82 steals per contest, has missed 17 games with the injury. Washington did a solid job without Hughes, posting an 8-9 record.

Washington, which currently sit fifth in the East, has lost its last three contests overall, including a 123-93 shellacking at the hands of the Houston Rockets last Tuesday prior to the All-Star break.

Antawn Jamison had 23 points and seven boards for the Wizards, who came up winless on a three-game road trip. Gilbert Arenas was held to only 11 points, but had nine assists for Washington, which had won four in a row before going on the road. Brendan Haywood had 16 points for Washington in the contest.

Jarvis Hayes had 21 points for Washington, which has lost seven of nine as the visitor. The Wizards shot 41.7 percent from the field, including 6-of-22 (.273) from three-point range. Washington drained 17-of-21 (.810) from the charity stripe.

Washington's Juan Dixon left the game with a sprained right ankle. Dixon is expected to play this evening.

Washington has been solid at home this season, posting a 20-7 mark. The Wizards have won their last four tilts within the MCI Center.

Memphis enters this contest on the heels of back-to-back losses, including a 90-88 loss to Boston last Wednesday. The Grizzlies are currently seventh in the West, 11 games behind first place San Antonio.

Stromile Swift had 19 points for the Grizzlies, who have lost two in a row. Swift left the game in the third quarter with a left ankle sprain. The forward is out indefinitely. Memphis is still without star forwards Pau Gasol and James Posey.

Brian Cardinal added 17 points as Memphis fell for only the third time in nine outings. Jason Williams tallied 14 points and Mike Miller chipped in 11 in the defeat. Williams and Miller tacked on six assists apiece.

The Grizzlies shot just 36.8 percent from the field, including 8-of-30 (.267) from three-point range. Memphis hit 24-of-30 (.800) from the free throw line.

Memphis, which has won seven of its last 11 road games, is 12-14 in foreign buildings this season. The Grizzlies are finishing up a three-game road trip tonight.

Washington won the first of two meetings between these teams on Nov. 3, 103-91, at FedExForum. Nonetheless, Memphis has won three of the last five meetings in this series. The Grizzlies have lost six of their last eight trips to D.C..

02/23 10:35:12 ET

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