NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 12th
(All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (14-4) at Phoenix Suns (7-15), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - With an injury to his right knee no longer a concern,
Memphis' Zach Randolph has returned to his role as a dominating inside
The former All-Star had one of his best games in a Grizzlies uniform eight
days ago against the Phoenix Suns and hopes to duplicate that performance in
Wednesday night's rematch.
Randolph was limited to just 28 games a season ago due to his injury, but has
suited up in all 18 contests this season while averaging 17.6 points and 12.9
rebounds a night.
The 6-foot-9 forward exploded for season highs of 38 points and 22 rebounds in
a Dec. 4 meeting with Phoenix, one in which Memphis recorded a 108-98 overtime
victory at home.
Randolph scored 16 points and had seven rebounds in the fourth quarter and
overtime en route to his highest scoring total since joining the Grizzlies
prior to the 2009-10 season. He recorded the fifth 30-20 game in franchise
history and fourth of his career, helping Memphis outrebound Phoenix 50-32 and
outscore the club 60-38 in the paint.
Randolph has been a double-double machine this season, opening the campaign
with 11 in a row and ranking among the league leaders with 15. His latest came
in Saturday's 93-83 loss to the Atlanta Hawks as he finished with 18 points
and 13 boards.
Marc Gasol also had 18 points and Rudy Gay added 17 with nine rebounds for
Memphis, which led by six at halftime but was outscored 32-13 in the third
while playing for the second straight night.
"It was a lot of factors tonight. We played tired, we thought tired and we
only had 15 assists. We didn't share the basketball. We didn't shoot it well
or shoot free throws well," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "We looked like
a team that was tired."
The Grizzlies lost for just the second time in eight games, fell to 9-2 at
home and were denied a chance at posting their 15th win of the season in the
fastest amount of time in team history. They can still eclipse the previous
mark of Dec. 21, 2005, when the Grizzlies stood at 15-9.
Memphis visits a struggling team tonight in Phoenix, which has lost its past
In the opener of a five-game homestand on Sunday, the Suns were bested 98-90
by the Orlando Magic. Phoenix stayed close early in the fourth and trailed by
just three points before Orlando went on an 11-3 surge to grab control.
"It's a real frustrating loss, real disappointing loss," Suns coach Alvin
Gentry said. "We are playing spot basketball. We play good for two minutes
then we're bad for seven, then we're good for five and we're bad for three.
You just can't have any consistency and you just can't win any basketball
games in this league when you play that way."
Shannon Brown scored a team-high 17 points and Jared Dudley added 15 points
for the Suns, who played without leading scorer Goran Dragic due to flu-like
The guard is questionable tonight, having missed practice on Monday before
returning on Tuesday, when he admitted to still feeling weak from the illness.
He led Phoenix with 19 points against the Grizzlies.
Sebastian Telfair started in Dragic's place, but also missed practice on
Monday because of a bruised thigh. P.J. Tucker has sat out the past two games
as well due to a sprained right knee and is questionable for this contest.
The Suns have lost four of their last six versus the Grizzlies, but have won
10 of the last 12 encounters at home in the series.
12/12 10:34:36 ET