Grizzlies-Wizards Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 24, 2013
The Memphis Grizzlies have done a great job taking care of their home court, but the road has been the problem lately. For the Washington Wizards, home has been where they've enjoyed their most success. The Grizzlies will try to avoid their first four-game skid outside Memphis in two seasons on Monday night when the Wizards - making a brief stop back in the nation's capital - go for their first six-game run at home in six seasons. Led by a season-high 30 points from backup guard Jerryd Bayless, Memphis (47-22) won its 10th in a row at home on Saturday, 110-106 over Boston. The Grizzlies, though, are winless in their last three outside Memphis as they get set for games at Washington (25-44) and New York. Memphis, which last dropped four straight away games during a six-game skid from Nov. 15-Dec. 6, 2010, had won four in a row and seven of eight on the road prior to this stretch. Getting back into the win column might be tough as the Wizards have matched their longest home winning streak of the season and have lost just four times - by a total of 19 points - in their last 19 in the nation's capital. They haven't won six straight at home since a 10-game stretch from Dec. 13, 2006-Jan. 20, 2007. Washington will try to inch closer to that before hitting the road again to face Northwest Division-leading Oklahoma City and Orlando. The Wizards finished a 2-2 trip Saturday night with a 101-92 loss to Golden State. "Overall, coming out of a West Coast trip at .500, for us it's a step in the right direction," said coach Randy Wittman, whose team had won six of eight. John Wall had a strong trip with team highs of 20.5 points and 8.0 assists per game, but the third-year point guard needs to stay on the court, especially with backup A.J. Price (groin) out the last seven games and rookie Bradley Beal missing eight of the last 11 with a sprained left ankle. Wall was ejected for the first time this season - and third time in his career on Saturday - following an altercation with Klay Thompson. Wall admitted he let the team down, but his focus is on Monday night. "Just prepare ourselves for a Memphis team that's still fighting for a better seed in the playoffs," he said. The Grizzlies, fifth in the Western Conference, should have Zach Randolph back in the starting lineup after coach Lionel Hollins made him come off the bench on Saturday after showing up late to a pregame shootaround. Randolph still finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Memphis, though, might have Ed Davis at center for a second straight game as Marc Gasol is listed as day-to-day with an abdominal tear suffered earlier this month. Gasol finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in an 85-76 home win over Washington on Feb. 1. The Grizzlies have won three straight in this series - all in Memphis - and seven of eight. The Wizards' lone win during that stretch was in Memphis' last visit, an 89-86 victory on Nov. 19, 2010. The Grizzlies had won their previous two games in the nation's capital.
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