National Basketball Association
Grizzlies-Knicks Preview
National Basketball Association

Grizzlies-Knicks Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 10:24 p.m. ET

Not long ago Marc Gasol was slumping, Jeff Green was an afterthought off the bench and the Memphis Grizzlies were the worst offensive team in the Western Conference.

Now Gasol and Green are thriving with Memphis in the midst of a historic scoring run.

The reeling New York Knicks had no answer for Gasol last month and will face him Friday night after a difficult loss in the first of back-to-back games. They're looking to avoid a sixth straight loss in this series and deny the visiting Grizzlies their longest winning streak in a year.

Memphis was averaging a West-low 95.9 points per game before averaging 105.8 while scoring at least 100 in regulation over nine straight games for the first time in its history.


Green was scoring 10.4 per game heading into that stretch after totaling seven points on 2-of-13 shooting over a two-game span. He's since averaged 19.3 while hitting 15 of 34 from 3-point range in the last nine and 26.0 on 62.9 percent shooting over his past four.

Green led the way with 24 points, former Knick Zach Randolph had 22 and 12 rebounds and Mike Conley scored 17 with 10 assists in Monday's 110-95 win at New Orleans.

Memphis shot a season-high 60.6 percent en route to its 10th win in 12 games. It's looking to win five in a row for the first time since an eight-game run from Jan. 21-Feb. 4, 2015.

''We have a lot of guys really contributing to what we're doing,'' guard Vince Carter said. ''Guys are just playing hard and letting it all hang out for the good of the team.''

Gasol, who had 14 points, averaged just 9.5 with a 26.3 field-goal percentage over a four-game stretch before scoring 20.4 on 50.6 percent in his past 10.

The two-time All-Star center was nearly unstoppable against the Knicks on Jan. 16, finishing with 37 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in a 103-95 home win.

Memphis (29-20) has won five in a row during its longest winning streak in this series, which includes two victories at Madison Square Garden by a combined 29 points. Green has averaged 21.3 points in his last four meetings dating to his time with Boston.

Conley, who did not play in the January win due to a sore left Achilles, has totaled 16 points on 7-of-28 shooting in his last two games at MSG.

The Grizzlies have a chance to extend their surge against a New York team that has allowed 107.9 points over its last 13 games. The Knicks (23-29) rallied from 27 points down and took the lead with 2:14 left Thursday before running out of gas in a 111-105 loss at Detroit.

''We dug ourselves the kind of hole where everything has to go right for you to have a chance," coach Derek Fisher said.

Robin Lopez set season highs with 26 points and 16 boards in New York's third straight defeat and seventh in eight games. Arron Afflalo had 24 points and Carmelo Anthony, who missed the first meeting with Memphis, added 19, 11 rebounds and eight assists but missed 14 of 18 shots.

Matt Barnes is questionable for the Grizzlies after sitting Monday due to a pulled hamstring. He stayed away from Fisher last month after the NBA had suspended Barnes for two games for his role in a physical altercation and threatening the coach in October.


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