Grizzlies vs. Nets preview
While the Memphis Grizzlies have thrived on the road, they have surprisingly struggled on their own court of late.
The Brooklyn Nets haven't been able to get it together, regardless of venue.
The Grizzlies try to avoid losing four straight at home for the first time in almost four years Saturday night against the Nets.
Memphis (8-7) suffered back-to-back home defeats before bouncing back Wednesday with a 100-93 win at Boston. Jerryd Bayless led the way with a season-high 22 points off the bench as the Grizzlies extended their road winning streak to five.
Four other players scored in double figures, including Mike Conley with 14 and Zach Randolph with 13. Kosta Koufos had 13 rebounds for the second straight game while filling in for Marc Gasol, who remains sidelined with a sprained MCL suffered last Friday.
"Obviously, we're going to have to do it by committee and his presence can't be filled by one guy," guard Tony Allen said. "We're going to have to do it together. Guys went down in previous seasons. We've got to understand there's a lot of games left."
Memphis plays its next six at home, where it has averaged just 86.3 points during a three-game skid. The Grizzlies, whose home winning percentage of 78.4 over the previous two seasons is tied for fourth-best in the NBA, haven't dropped four in a row at FedExForum since an eight-game slide Feb. 5-March 6, 2010.
Getting Randolph more involved could prove key for Memphis, which is 7-2 when he scores at least 15. The veteran forward is averaging 13.6 points at home compared to 18.1 on the road.
"Zach's a premier big man in the league," Bayless said. "We've got to continue to get him the ball and he's capable of doing great things."
Brooklyn (4-12) is mired in a 2-10 stretch after getting blown out 114-95 at Houston on Friday. The Nets dropped to 2-8 on the road after allowing the Rockets to shoot 52.7 percent, including 19 of 32 from 3-point range.
First-year coach Jason Kidd benched all his starters - except Brook Lopez - for the entire second half. Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson combined for seven points on 3-of-16 from the field while Andray Blatche went scoreless after missing all six of his shot attempts.
"We had to go with the guys who were going to play hard," said Kidd, whose team dropped to 1-12 when shooting below 48.0 percent. "'We have to address that ... we've got to figure out what the problem is with our starting group."
Lopez, meanwhile, scored 16 in 21 minutes in his first game back after missing seven with a sprained left ankle. He leads the team with 20.0 points per game.
While having him back should help, point guard Deron Williams (ankle) remains sidelined. Kevin Garnett (rest) was also held out against the Rockets, but he could return Saturday.
Pierce, 5 of 23 from the floor over the last two games, is averaging just 12.4 points on 36.8 percent shooting, way down from his career marks of 21.7 and 44.6. He scored 21.6 per game while shooting 50.8 percent in 13 career road matchups against the Grizzlies while with Boston.
Memphis has limited the Nets to an average of 83.0 points in taking all three matchups over the previous two seasons.
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