Grizzlies’ Randolph to return vs. Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Zach Randolph, who has missed nine games with a sore right knee, is ready to return and will be in Memphis’ starting lineup at New Orleans.

Randolph, a 13-year veteran, is averaging 16.1 points and 11.4 rebounds in 26 games this season. He has not played since a loss at home to Chicago on Dec. 19.

His return comes as Memphis seeks to maintain a slim lead over Dallas for first place in the Southwest Division.

The Pelicans enter Friday night’s game on a two-game skid.