Playing at home has hardly been advantageous for the Memphis
Grizzlies over the last several years. Even during those struggles,
though, they’ve been able to count on a win there against the
On Monday night, the Grizzlies look to win their fifth straight
at FedExForum over the Wizards, who hope Gilbert Arenas’ first game
in Memphis in more than three years will end a losing streak
Memphis (13-16), which has totaled 44 home wins over the
previous three seasons, is looking to win four straight there for
the first time since Dec. 5-14, 2008. The Grizzlies, though, had
their three-game run snapped with a 106-101 loss at Dallas on
Zach Randolph scored 21 of Memphis’ first 29 points, as the
Grizzlies went ahead by 10 early before Dallas cooled him off.
Randolph, who came in averaging 30.3 points in the previous three
games, was 0 for 3 from the floor from 9:42 of the second quarter
to 9:43 of the fourth.
“We stopped doing what we were doing that got us the lead,” said
Randolph, who ended up with 27 points and 14 rebounds. “We needed
to attack the basket more. It’s real frustrating. It was a tough
“We need to make smarter plays, move the ball, play a little
more together at the end of the game. If we do that, we’ll be
While the Grizzlies are last in the Southwest Division, a good
run in December has instilled some confidence. That’s especially
true for Randolph, who has averaged 23.3 points and 13.9 rebounds
as Memphis has gone 7-4 this month.
Much of that success has come at home, where the Grizzlies are
9-5 this season and 5-2 in December.
They’re looking to extend that against the Wizards (10-18), who
have also played better recently, but a 101-89 loss to Minnesota on
Saturday had them extremely frustrated.
The Timberwolves have has the worst record in the Western
Conference and shot 37.4 percent, but Washington – last in the
Southeast – had its own problems, going 32 of 81 from the floor
while being outrebounded 56-45.
The Wizards, who were looking to win three in a row for the
first time this season, had averaged 106.8 points while going 3-1
in their previous four.
“We can call them the worst team in the West, but it’s not like
we’ve got that many wins over them,” said Arenas, who scored 26
points. “Right now we are one of the worst teams in the East until
we can prove ourselves. Right now, we win two, we lose four.”
Arenas shot 10 of 28, the third time in the last four games he’s
been held below 36-percent shooting. He also had seven turnovers
for a second straight game, but had nine of his team’s season-low
Arenas has missed Washington’s last four games against the
Grizzlies, including two losses last season while recovering from
knee surgery. He hasn’t faced them since scoring 31 points in a
116-101 victory in 2006.