Coach Dave Joerger has remained upbeat throughout an injury-induced plummet, but that won't get the Memphis Grizzlies far if they fall into an inauspicious playoff matchup.
The Los Angeles Clippers are soaring as the Western Conference's fourth seed while Blake Griffin tries to rediscover his All-Star form before the start of the postseason.
In a potential first-round matchup, the Grizzlies seek their second win in 10 games Tuesday night when they visit a Clippers team that's chasing a sixth straight victory.
Memphis has managed to secure a postseason spot despite dropping 12 of 15 while playing without Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, who are out for the rest of the season and playoffs.
The Grizzlies also did not have Jordan Adams, Tony Allen and Brandan Wright on Saturday when they led by 10 points in the fourth quarter before falling 100-99 to Golden State. Draymond Green's tip-in with one minute left gave the Warriors their 71st victory.
"We battled, we got loose balls, we got offensive rebounds, and we got into the paint," Joerger told the team's official website. "I'm just really, really proud of our guys and proud of our season."
Former Clippers forward Matt Barnes stepped up with 24 points and 15 rebounds for Memphis. He's averaged 18.8 and 8.5 while hitting 13 3-pointers over his last four games.
The Grizzlies (42-40) get a rematch with the Warriors on Wednesday after visiting the Clippers. They can finish as high as fifth and would certainly like to avoid the seventh or eighth spots which would pit them against San Antonio or Golden State.
Memphis has a chance to move into a tie with fifth-place Portland with its second win over Los Angeles in this ugly stretch. Zach Randolph had his first career triple-double with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 113-102 home win March 19.
Randolph has proved to be a difficult assignment for Los Angeles (52-28), averaging 23.8 points, 10.8 boards and 5 assists over his last four meetings.
The Clippers have turned things around by winning nine of 10 since dropping the last three of that five-game trip. Griffin wasn't around in the first matchup with Memphis as he was in the midst of a 45-game absence due to multiple injuries and a four-game suspension.
The star forward has worked on finding his rhythm during the team's five-game winning streak. After missing nine of his first 11 shots Sunday, he hit five of the next seven and finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a 98-91 home win over Dallas.
"There down the stretch, that was the Blake that we know, just being aggressive," guard Chris Paul told the team's official website. "It's good to see spurts from him like that."
Griffin led the way with 24 points and 12 boards and J.J. Redick scored six straight points in the final minute to key a 94-92 victory in the first meeting at Staples Center on Nov. 9.
With the Clippers expected to rest players in their finale against Phoenix on Wednesday, Griffin, Redick, Paul and DeAndre Jordan are likely to play in this one.
Jamal Crawford has totaled 52 points while going 8 of 17 from 3-point range in his last two games, but he's scored a combined 20 while shooting 4 of 16 in this season series.