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Revamped Grizzlies set for challenge against Thunder
(Sports Network) - The Memphis Grizzlies will have a new look when they invade Oklahoma City Thursday to take on Kevin Durant and the Thunder.
The Grizzlies shipped leading scorer Rudy Gay and center Hamed Haddadi to the Toronto Raptors Wednesday in exchange for point guard Jose Calderon, forward Ed Davis and a second round draft pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Additionally, the Grizzlies sent Calderon to the Detroit Pistons for forwards Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye.
"We are excited to add three players who bring with them a tremendous amount of value to our team and have achieved incredible success on the pro, college and Olympic levels," Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations Chris Wallace said. "In these players, we welcome NBA Champion and Olympic gold medalist Tayshaun Prince, as well as up-and-coming athletic forwards Ed Davis, who won an NCAA title at North Carolina, and Austin Daye.
"On behalf of the Memphis Grizzlies, we especially would like to thank Rudy Gay for his contributions to the Grizzlies and the City of Memphis both on and off the court. We wish him and Hamed the very best."
Over 42 games this season, Gay has averaged a team-best 17.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists. The 26-year-old, who was the eighth overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, has produced career averages of 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest.
It is unknown if the Grizzlies' new pieces will debut Thursday.
Double-double machine Zach Randolph now leads the team with 15.8 ppg, while Marc Gasol and Mike Conley have added pressure to step it up. Memphis is fourth in the Western Conference standings and has won five of seven games, including Monday's come-from-behind 103-100 win at Philadelphia. Gay provided the go-ahead basket with 13.3 seconds left and finished with 26 points.
Gasol had 27 points and Jerryd Bayless added 21 for the Grizzlies, who rallied from a 17-point deficit in the first quarter and are 12-8 as the visitor this season. The Grizzlies are undefeated this season (14-0) when scoring 100 points and posted season highs in field goal percentage (.548) and three-point field goal percentage (.615).
In injury news for Memphis, Conley is questionable for Thursday's game with a sprained left ankle.
Oklahoma City has alternated wins and losses over its last five games since a six-game winning streak and is back home after going 3-3 on a recent road trip.
The well-rested Thunder closed the trip with Sunday's 105-96 setback against the Los Angeles Lakers as Durant led the way with a game-high 35 points and Russell Westbrook contributed 17 points with 13 assists. Durant leads the NBA with 29.6 ppg. Kobe Bryant had 21 points and 14 assists for L.A.
"They're a physical team, Kobe picked us apart," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "14 assists in back-to-back games, he can do it all. We didn't shoot the way we wanted to. They just beat us."
Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins scored 10 points apiece in defeat.
The Thunder will try to extend their home winning streak to four games and are 19-3 in the OKC this season. They sport a 13-1 home mark against teams from the Western Conference.
Westbrook has 27 assists in his last two games and leads the team with 17 double-doubles on the season. Oklahoma City is 9-1 in games following a loss and went 15-3 in those games a season ago.
Oklahoma City dropped a 107-97 decision to the Grizzlies at home back on Nov. 14 this season. Memphis has won two in a row and three of four as the visitor in this series. The Thunder will visit Memphis March 20.
01/31 10:33:21 ET
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