Grizzlies-Warriors Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 08, 2013
Zach Randolph and David Lee were once teammates for a terrible club. Now both are key figures for teams that appear headed to the postseason. Randolph and Lee are among the league leaders in double-doubles heading into Wednesday night's matchup when the visiting Memphis Grizzlies look to defeat the Golden State Warriors for an eight straight meeting. These forwards played together for a 23-win Knicks team in 2007-08 and also were teammates for part of the next season before Randolph was traded to the Clippers. Now Randolph leads the NBA with 22 double-doubles and Lee is tied for second with 20. Randolph could be headed to his third straight postseason after a seven-year drought while Lee has never been in a playoff game or even been on a winning team in his first seven seasons. The Grizzlies (22-10) are fourth in the Western Conference and the Warriors (22-11) are fifth. Randolph had 15 points and 14 rebounds in the lone meeting between these clubs this season as Memphis spoiled Golden State's home opener with a 104-94 victory. Lee finished with 16 points, seven boards and five fouls for the Warriors, whose last win in this series came Nov. 3, 2010. Golden State was led by Stephen Curry's 26 points in a game that was notable for Randolph inadvertently knocking the Warriors' Brandon Rush to the court, resulting in a season-ending torn ACL for Rush. Randolph was distraught in the immediate aftermath of the nasty fall by Rush. Back then, it was hard to imagine how strong a season Golden State would enjoy to this point. The Warriors were playing well during a four-game win streak before a 115-89 loss to the Clippers on Saturday that they feel they can shake off. "NBA players realize that out of an 82-game schedule there are going to be nights like this, and nights where you win by 30," Lee said. The victory at Golden State marked the first of three straight double-digit road wins for Memphis. The Grizzlies are on another such three-game run and have never won four in a row on the road by at least 10 points. Wayne Ellington came off the bench for a career-high 26 points Monday in a 113-81 rout at Sacramento. Randolph added 17 points for the Grizzlies, allowing an NBA-low 89.1 points per game. "We're a defensive team," Randolph said. "When we get stops we can score with the best of them." The Grizzlies are forcing 16.6 turnovers per game to rank among the league leaders. That's a big advantage against a Golden State team that averages 15.5 for one of the NBA's worst marks, including 18.5 over its last four games. "I think our problem is when we become careless at times," coach Mark Jackson said. "Our turnovers have been unforced errors." Memphis leading scorer Rudy Gay, held to eight points on 2-of-10 shooting Monday, continues to be the subject of trade rumors. His 17.8 scoring average is his worst since his rookie season, and he's shooting a career-low 40.8 percent. Wednesday is bobblehead night for Curry, and the Warriors leading scorer is looking forward to it. "I haven't seen the finished product yet but I'm sure it will look pretty good," Curry said. "I got a haircut and everything to kind of match the bobblehead."
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