By: Jeremy Hyman
WEATHER UPDATE: Tonight's #WizGrizzlies game is still planned to run as scheduled. If anything changes, there will be messaging to relay the information here on WashingtonWizards.com and an announcement from @WashWizards.
The Grizzlies won the first meeting 92-89 on February 11th in Memphis. Bradley Beal scored a career-high 37 points, but the Wizards could not overcome a 16 point second half deficit. Full Recap
Two Hot Teams - The Wizards enter tonight's game on a six-game wining streak and are playing their best basketball of the season. They have scored at least 115 points in three straight games, which is the first time they've done that in eight years. But, while they have won a season-high six straight games, the Grizzlies have now won six of their last eight and enter tonight's game right on the cusp of a playoff birth in the Western Conference. Mike Conley and Tony Allen have returned from injury and make this a much more dangerous team than the one that beat the Wizards three weeks ago in Memphis.
Can the Offense Keep This Up? - The Wiz are averaging just under 124 points per game over their last three games, while shooting just a hair under 50% from the floor (138/277). They are scoring in all different ways, with Marcin Gortat scoring a career-high 31 points on Thursday night and then Trevor Ariza dropping a career-high 40 on Saturday. That offense will be put to the test against one of the NBA's top defensive teams tonight in the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies rank third in the NBA in points allowed per game (94.9) and gave up just 89 to the Wizards the last time they met in Memphis.
Wizards - Marcin Gortat has recorded seven straight double-doubles and had a career-high 31 points on Thursday in Toronto.
Grizzlies - Zach Randolph has recorded double-doubles in his last two games and four of his last five. He has 35 double-doubles on the season.
A'Three'Za - Trevor Ariza opened Saturday's game by making his first eight 3-pointers and would go on to score a career-high 40 points in a win over the Sixers. The Grizzlies are a much tougher defensive team, so while he likely won't get as many open looks tonight, look for TA to keep that hot shooting stroke alive as the Wizards look for him on the perimeter.
The action kicks off at 7:00pm from Verizon Center.
The last time these two teams met, Mike Conley missed the game with an ankle injury, but John Wall was unable to take advantage, finishing with a season low five points and five assists on 2/10 shooting in 32 minutes of action. It was Bradley Beal who torched the Grizzlies in that game, scoring a career-high 37 points on 15/24 shooting. However, since the all-star break, Wall has been back to his all-star self and has helped lead the Wizards to a six game winning streak, including tying his career-high with 16 assists on Saturday night in Philadelphia. Mike Conley has returned from injury and is a big reason as to why the Grizzlies are right in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference. He scored 22 points and dished out seven assists in a win over Cleveland on Saturday.
Wall finishes at the rim.