Grizzlies-Hornets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 06, 2012
Apparently determined to avoid the early season struggles that have plagued them for years, the Memphis Grizzlies have gotten off to the best 16-game start in team history and own the best record in the NBA. Memphis looks to keep rolling Friday night when they visit the New Orleans Hornets, who continue to falter with Anthony Davis sidelined. After getting off to poor starts the previous six seasons, the Grizzlies (13-3) have been winning with improved offensive play as well as strong efforts at the defensive end. Memphis is scoring 99.3 points per game and holding teams to 91.3 - third in the league. "Guys were already shape, using training camp to get ready for the first preseason game," said point guard Mike Conley, averaging a career-high 15.0 points. "We were just taking it step-by-step. But the first game, I thought guys' minds were in midseason form, and we were clicking in so many different areas as opposed to the past seasons where we started out sluggish and slow." The Grizzlies suffered a 99-95 overtime loss at San Antonio on Saturday but regrouped three nights later, beating Phoenix 108-98 in OT. Memphis outscored the Suns 60-38 in the paint and held a 50-32 rebounding edge thanks largely to Zach Randolph, who had 38 points and 22 boards in an effort reminiscent of his play during the team's 2011 playoff run. "I saw the Zach from two years ago," Conley said of Randolph, who missed 2 1/2 months last season with a knee injury. "The one where everybody is chanting: `Z-Bo.' That's what we like to see. We don't want him to have to go for 40, or whatever he went for, every night, but we'll take it whenever he wants to give it to us." Tied for the league lead with 14 double-doubles, Randolph could be in for another big game Friday with Davis likely out again. The star rookie big man has missed the last nine games due to a stress reaction in his left ankle. The Hornets (5-12) lost for the 10th time in 12 games Wednesday, 103-87 to the Los Angeles Lakers. Ryan Anderson scored 31 points and went 5 for 8 from 3-point range, but the Hornets were outscored 30-16 in the third quarter after taking a one-point lead into halftime. "I just didn't think our defense was there, especially that first five or six minutes of the third quarter. Our defense was really poor, and we can't afford those lapses," coach Monty Williams said. "We looked like a young team. That's the thing that hit me as it was happening. We are just a young team." Coming out sluggish in the second half is nothing new for New Orleans, which has been limited to 15.3 points and 30.8 percent shooting in the third period during its last three losses. "We have had a little bit of trouble with that this year, and it's something that we will need to tighten up on and come together as a group," said Anderson, averaging 24.7 points in his last three games. The Hornets have struggled against the Grizzlies of late, averaging 89.2 points in losing five of six. New Orleans is scoring a league-low 87.9 points at home.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Predators fans throw catfish on ice to celebrate Stanley Cup berth

WATCH: Draymond Green tries just a little to hard to sell foul

Eddie George fires up Predators fans before Game 4 vs Ducks

Viktor Arvidsson had bloody ‘R’ on forehead after hit

Danny Ainge’s son running for congressional seat in Utah

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall’s retweet saves fan from taking final exam

WATCH: Cubs pull off two miraculous defensive plays in a row

To raise money for charity, a wrestling fan has Cody Rhodes slam him on thumbtacks

Gregg Popovich on Steve Kerr’s health issues: ‘It’s just a crap situation’

CJ McCollum clearly interested in having Paul Millsap join Blazers

Injuries are depriving us from watching the Spurs thrive in the clutch

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Three Up, Three Down: Astros dominate in every category

Box Score 5/19: Heartbreak in OT

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

The 'Happy birthday to two of the NBA's all-time antagonists' quiz

The shortstop evolution continues to raise the ceiling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker