Warriors-Grizzlies Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 03, 2012
The Memphis Grizzlies are off to a solid start on a stretch of three games in three nights. They have a good chance for further success with the Golden State Warriors in town. The Grizzlies look for a third straight victory overall Tuesday night and a sixth consecutive win over the Warriors, who are hoping to avoid a season-high six-game losing streak. In the midst of five games in six days, Memphis (29-22) won the final two of a three-game road trip, culminating Monday in a 94-88 victory at Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City that snapped the Thunder's six-game winning streak. It also gave the Grizzlies even more momentum as they try to make the best of their back-to-back-to-back, which concludes Wednesday at Dallas. "It's pretty much just go out and hoop every day," said O.J. Mayo, whose 22 points against the Thunder included a key 3-pointer with 17 seconds left. "We play games every day, so we just try to go out and compete and give ourselves the best chance of winning." Minus point guard Mike Conley for a second straight game because of a sore ankle, the Grizzlies overcame a 39.1-percent shooting effort to beat a team vying for the NBA's best overall record. It's uncertain if Conley, averaging 12.8 points and a team-high 7.1 assists, will return Tuesday. "We're a no-excuse team," said All-Star forward Marc Gasol, who had 13 points and eight rebounds Monday. "We've got to play. We've got to do what we've got to do.'' The Grizzlies now return home, where they have won two in a row and eight of 10. Memphis, which beat the Warriors 104-103 at the FedEx Forum on Feb. 18, has averaged 110.7 points and shot 51.8 during a six-game home winning streak over Golden State that dates to a 117-86 loss April 4, 2008. The Grizzlies won the first two meetings with the Warriors (20-31) this season by one point, before rolling to a 110-92 victory at Golden State on March 7. Rudy Gay was held to 12 points while shooting 4 of 15 at Oklahoma City on Monday, but he has averaged 25.4 on 54.8 percent shooting in his last seven games against the Warriors. He had 26 points and 12 assists at Golden State last month. The Warriors won three in a row following that home defeat to Memphis, but have since dropped 10 of 12. Golden State's current overall skid reached five games Sunday after a 120-112 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. "At this point, we're trying to finish the season strong," said forward David Lee, who had 27 points against the Lakers. "We're trying to continue to play our last games with as much intensity as we can and get as many wins as we can." One of the Warriors' most consistent contributors throughout the season, Lee has averaged 26.3 points in his last four games. However, he's averaging only 12.7 in three meetings with Memphis this season.
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