Mike Conley has played a significant role in Memphis’ past two games against the Dallas Mavericks, but it’s unknown if he’ll play as the Grizzlies attempt to match their longest win streak against their Southwest Division rivals.
Memphis has overcome Conley’s absence so far with some assistance from the newly acquired Jeff Green, who will try to help extend the Grizzlies’ four-game win streak Monday against the visiting Mavericks.
Conley has missed the past two games because of injured ankles, but the Grizzlies (29-11) won at Orlando on Friday then topped Northwest Division-leading Portland 102-98 at home the next night. His replacement, Beno Udrih, matched a season high with 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting and hit two key jumpers in the final 40 seconds.
Zach Randolph had a team-best 20 points and 15 rebounds while Green had 17 points in his first home game since being acquired from Boston in a three-team deal last Monday. Green scored a team-leading 21 in the 106-96 win over the Magic.
"He’s embraced being here and his teammates love him. He’s trying to fit in and do the right thing," coach Dave Joerger said. "He’s extremely smart. He’s picked up our stuff quickly. Now we’ve just got to keep building the chemistry among the players."
Green scored a season-high 35 points in a 118-113 loss in Dallas on Nov. 3 and 18 in a 119-101 defeat Jan. 2 while with the Celtics.
While Green’s presence could make it difficult on the Mavericks, Conley’s would be just as welcome given his recent performances in the series. He scored 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting in a 114-105 victory Dec. 9 and Marc Gasol had 30, two shy of matching a career high.
Conley, listed as questionable, is averaging 22.7 points on 53.3 percent shooting in his last three games against the Mavericks and made the winning free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime in a 106-105 win April 16.
The Grizzlies are in position to take three straight over Dallas (28-13) for the third time in franchise history. The most recent such win streak was Jan. 15, 2011-Feb. 29, 2012.
The Mavericks have lost three of five but took a 97-89 win over Denver on Friday. Dirk Nowitzki had a team-leading 25 points and nine rebounds after resting in a 114-107 road loss to the Nuggets on Wednesday.
Dallas held Denver to 41.0 percent shooting Friday after yielding an average of 112.7 points and 48.8 percent shooting during a 1-2 trip.
"(The Grizzlies) present a lot of problems," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We’ve got to get up our physical aggression for this game. We’ve got to have a real disposition on both ends. We’ve got to play our game better than they play their game."
Chandler Parsons scored 30 points in last month’s loss to Memphis, four shy of tying his career high that was set against the Grizzlies on Jan. 24 while with Houston.
Nowitzki was held to 11 points on 4-of-17 shooting in the December meeting after averaging 25.2 points and shooting 54.1 percent in his prior five matchups.