Bobcats-Grizzlies Preview

Some solid defense has the Memphis Grizzlies on the verge of

their longest winning stretch of the season.

Looking for a fourth straight victory, the Grizzlies could use

another strong defensive effort while trying to avoid a fifth

consecutive loss to the visiting Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday

night.

Though Memphis (11-14) has scored more than 90 points once over

the last four games, it’s given up an average of 84.7 while holding

Phoenix, the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland to 41.4 percent

shooting during a three-game winning streak.

“It ain’t Chinese algebra,” Memphis reserve guard Tony Allen

said. “If you get stops, and you execute on offense, normally that

teams wins.”

Though the Grizzlies are giving up 100.9 points per contest this

season, they are 10-4 when holding their opponents to fewer than

100 points.

“Defense wins games,” forward Rudy Gay said. “It’s the oldest

saying in the book.”

Memphis flexed its defensive muscle once again by holding the

Trail Blazers to 36.7 percent shooting and outscoring them 25-9 in

the fourth quarter of an 83-73 win Monday.

Zach Randolph had 25 points with 20 rebounds, while Gay scored

16 to give the Grizzlies a chance for their first four-game winning

streak since Jan. 12-18.

“We’re believing that we can win and just coming out and playing

basketball,” Randolph told the Grizzlies’ official website. “It’s

important that we keep building and focusing on these games.”

Randolph continues to play well, averaging 22.4 points and 15.2

boards his last five games.

“I just try to be aggressive and hit the glass on both ends and

play around the basket,” said Randolph, who has four games with at

least 20 points and 20 rebounds in less than two seasons with the

Grizzlies.

Randolph has averaged 23.8 points and 10.8 boards in his last

five games versus Charlotte. However, the Grizzlies have not fared

so well against the Bobcats of late.

Memphis has averaged 86.3 points during its four-game skid

versus Charlotte. The Bobcats, meanwhile, have averaged 98.8 on

51.5 percent shooting during that stretch.

That recent success over the Grizzlies and a 97-91 win over

Toronto on Tuesday could the provide the Bobcats (9-15) with some

much-needed confidence to help them avoid a seventh consecutive

road loss. Charlotte is 3-9 away from home.

“The only way if you maybe have some deficiencies is you play

harder, you compete harder, you execute better,” Bobcats coach

Larry Brown said.

The Bobcats avoided a third consecutive loss by shooting 52.0

percent and matching a season high with 13 blocked shots against

the Raptors.

“I think (Tuesday) was the starting point. We’ve got to build

off that,” said Gerald Wallace, who had 16 points and four

blocks.

Charlotte’s Stephen Jackson (17.7 ppg) was limited to seven

points before fouling out Tuesday, and has totaled 35 his last

three games. However, he’s averaged 23.5 points in his last four

games versus Memphis.

Wallace, though, has averaged 10.3 points in 10 career games at

Memphis.