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Grizzlies-Knicks Preview

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The New York Knicks are 10-4 at home against Western Conference opponents and the Memphis Grizzlies are 10-4 on the road against the East.

That's not the only similarity ahead of Wednesday night's matchup at Madison Square Garden between teams that will likely be missing key big men as the Knicks try for a sixth straight victory.

New York (43-26) won 100-85 at Boston on Tuesday as Tyson Chandler missed his seventh consecutive game with a bulging disk.

Chandler did not rule himself out Wednesday, but said he would "most likely" miss the contest in order to get two more days off before the Knicks play again Friday.

"When I get on the basketball court, I'm going to play defense and rebound and look up, so that's kind of my problem area right now," said Chandler, averaging a team-best 11.0 rebounds. "It's not something that I'm really worried about for long periods."

Memphis (47-23) will be without Marc Gasol for a third straight game. Gasol, second on the team with 7.8 rebounds per game, is out indefinitely with an abdominal injury.

His loss is a major one for the Grizzlies, whose plus-3.8 rebound margin is the NBA's second-best mark.

Memphis will play for the first time since Monday's 107-94 loss at Washington while New York will try to improve to 10-6 in the second half of back-to-back games.

The lack of rest shouldn't prove detrimental for a Knicks team that averages 40.8 points from its bench for the league's second-best mark. That depth was evident as J.R. Smith scored 32 of the reserves' 47 points against the Celtics.

Smith felt the key to victory was New York's defense, which forced 20 turnovers that led to 17 points.

"We credit everything we do to our defense,'' Smith said. "When we get out and run, no one can really run with us.''

Carmelo Anthony made 10 of 30 shots for 29 points for New York, which extended its lead atop the Atlantic Division to 2 1/2 games over Brooklyn.

"It's tough for a lot of teams to come here and win (but) we're playing for something,'' coach Mike Woodson said. "They're playing for something, too, and they're a little beat up, like we are. And I just thought tonight our defense set the tone early and it was a nice flow for 48 minutes."

The Knicks will now try for their first six-game win streak since beginning 6-0.

That perfect start ended with a 105-95 loss at Memphis on Nov. 16. It was a feisty contest that featured six technical fouls, including infractions on Woodson, Smith and Anthony.

The Grizzlies could be still smarting after allowing John Wall to score 47 points Monday. It's the most one player has scored against Memphis since Kevin Martin had 48 for Sacramento on Nov. 2, 2009.

"When somebody has it going like that, there's really nothing you can do. You just put a hand up and hope that he misses,'' said guard Mike Conley, who scored a team-high 23.

Memphis is trying to avoid its first five-game road slide since a six-game skid Nov. 15-Dec. 6, 2010.

Tagged: Knicks, Grizzlies, Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith

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