Grizzlies-Hornets Preview

While the Memphis Grizzlies couldn’t get on track offensively,

their outstanding defense proved up to the challenge against one of

the NBA’s highest-scoring teams.

The Grizzlies aren’t likely to face as difficult of a task on

Friday night when they visit the New Orleans Hornets, one of the

lowest-scoring teams in the Western Conference.

Memphis (46-21), however, will have to remain focused following

a dramatic 90-89 overtime victory over Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Marc Gasol tipped in Zach Randolph’s miss with less than a second

remaining to give the Grizzlies an emotional win over the defending

conference champs.

Mike Conley finished with a team-high 24 points, while Jerryd

Bayless added 20 and hit a key 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left to

send the game to overtime.

Gasol and Randolph combined for 29 points and 33 rebounds

despite shooting 11 for 35.

With Memphis making just 36.0 percent as a team, its defense

keyed the victory. The Grizzlies held an Oklahoma City team that

ranks near the top of the NBA in scoring (106.4) to just 83 points

in regulation, 2 of 18 shooting from 3-point range and a season-low

35.7 percent from the field.

“We win in a variety of ways. It’s never pretty,” said Conley.

“That’s that grit-and-grind motto right there. We just find a way

to win however it is.”

Memphis, which leads the NBA at 89.2 points allowed per game,

won for the 16th time in 19 games and kept pace in a three-team

fight with Denver and the Los Angeles Clippers for third place in

the West.

Now the Grizzlies will try to snap a two-game road skid on

Friday against the Hornets (23-46), who rank near the bottom of the

West at 93.9 points per game

Southwest Division-worst New Orleans is also coming off a

last-second victory as Anthony Davis overcame a stomach ailment and

tapped in the go-ahead bucket in an 87-86 win over Boston on


“I was really tired, but I knew my team needed me, so I was

trying to fight through it,” said Davis, who had nine points and

eight rebounds. “I’m glad I did. It was a big win for us.”

Ryan Anderson had 21 points and Eric Gordon added 18 to help the

Hornets rally from a 13-point second-half deficit and snap a

four-game losing streak.

New Orleans, though, will have to find a way to knock down its

open looks against the defensive-minded Grizzlies after averaging

85.3 points on 41.7 percent shooting in its last four games.

Memphis looks to take three of four in the season series after

winning 96-89 in New Orleans on Dec. 7 and 96-85 at home on March

9. The Hornets limited the Grizzlies to 36.4 percent shooting in a

91-83 win in Memphis on Jan. 27.

Randolph totaled 35 points and 20 rebounds for Memphis in the

first two games against New Orleans before missing the last contest

because of a left ankle sprain.

Anderson has been a key weapon for the Hornets, averaging 18.0

points and hitting 11 for 25 from 3-point range over the three


Davis, meanwhile, had one of his best games against the

Grizzlies earlier this month, totaling 20 points and 18


Memphis has won seven of nine in this series overall and three

of four in New Orleans.