The Memphis Grizzlies haven’t played well since losing Zach Randolph, though recently they’ve been plagued by an inability to take care of the ball.
They’ll try to limit their turnovers Friday night when they visit the New Orleans Pelicans.
Memphis is 4-5 without Randolph, the team’s third-leading scorer (16.1) who has been out with a sore right knee. He practiced Thursday and is questionable.
The Grizzlies (25-10) outscored Atlanta 36-30 in the paint and claimed a 39-37 rebounding edge Wednesday despite being without Randolph’s team-leading 11.4 boards per game. However, they committed a season high-tying 21 turnovers in a 96-86 loss to the Eastern Conference’s top team.
They’re averaging 16.2 turnovers over their last six games after previously averaging 12.1. Point guard Mike Conley had five turnovers after committing four over his previous three games, and the Hawks had 19 points off turnovers.
Memphis’ 1.9 assist-to-turnover ratio through its first 29 games was the second-highest in the NBA. Coach David Joerger’s team is 19-4 when it records 21-plus assists.
"We have to get another playmaker on the floor," Joerger told the team’s official website. "We’re going to have to start playing multiple point guards (at the same time). We’ve got to be able to get inside of the defense."
Beno Udrih could be in for more playing time if Joerger follows through on his words. Udrih ranks near the top of the league with a career-best 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
New Orleans point guard Jrue Holiday owns a career-high 3.0 ratio.
The Grizzlies have generally been able to take care of sub-.500 teams with a 17-2 record, though they lost 114-85 at Denver on Saturday. They won 93-81 at home against New Orleans (17-18) on Nov. 3, holding the Pelicans to 33.7 percent shooting and a 4-of-24 mark from 3-point range. Anthony Davis was limited to 14 points while Ryan Anderson was 2 of 14 from the floor.
Each Memphis starter scored in double figures with Tony Allen, Marc Gasol and Randolph recording double-doubles. Conley had five assists and two turnovers but shot 2 for 10. Memphis had 19 assists compared to 11 turnovers.
The Pelicans remain inconsistent, not winning or losing more than two straight while splitting their last 20. However, they’re 7-3 at home in that span.
New Orleans averages a plus-6.1 scoring margin at home and a minus-4.7 margin on the road. The disparity is the league’s second-largest behind Oklahoma City (11.4).
The Pelicans were outscored 57-46 in the second half of Wednesday’s 98-94 defeat in Charlotte, giving up a go-ahead 3-point play with 1.4 seconds left.
"We fell apart," coach Monty Williams said. "We didn’t share the ball, which is what we have been talking about, especially down the stretch of games."
Davis had 32 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks for his sixth double-double in seven games. He has shot 62.5 percent or better in three of four.
The Pelicans are 4-4 against Southwest Division opponents after going 4-12 in 2013-14. Three of last season’s victories came against Memphis.
The Grizzlies are trying to avoid a season-worst third straight road loss.