Bear Necessities: Key notes, numbers and trends entering Grizzlies-Rockets matchup
MEMPHIS – The Grizzlies (18-22) reach the midpoint of their regular-season schedule and start the second half of their longest homestand of the season Tuesday against the Rockets (26-12) at FedExForum.
Bear Necessities is a spotlight on key Grizzlies’ facts and trends, curated from Communication Manager Ross Wooden’s Game Notes, to stay informed entering tonight's matchup.
Here are a few things to watch:
- Since Dec. 9, the Grizzlies’ 12-6 record represents the fourth-most wins in the NBA over that time, trailing only the Bucks (15-3), Jazz (14-2) and Nuggets (13-5). Memphis is on a season-best, five-game win streak, seeking its first six-game winning streak since December of 2016. The Grizzlies have also won seven of their last eight home games and are 3-0 on a season-long, six-game homestand that finishes with Friday’s game against the Cavaliers and Monday’s MLK Jr. Celebration Game against the Pelicans.
- The Grizzlies continue to build on a breakthrough December with a prolific start to the New Year. After going 8-8 in December for its first .500 or better record in a month this season, Memphis is 5-1 in January while posting the league’s highest-scoring offense at 126.3 points a game this month. At this pace, the Grizzlies would shatter the franchise mark for their highest-scoring month, set in December when they averaged 113.4 points. The Grizzlies have scored at least 110 points in 11 straight games.
- Balance and depth have been two key components of the Grizzlies’ recent success. Offensively, Memphis has been led in scoring by five different players over the past seven games. Twice during that stretch, the Grizzlies have had four players score at least 20 in the same game. Most recently, center Jonas Valanciunas paced the Grizzlies with 31 points and season-high 19 rebounds in Sunday’s 122-102 victory. It was the fourth game of at least 30 points and 15 rebounds of his career, all with the Grizzlies.
- Expect another high-scoring affair in Tuesday’s game. The Rockets (104.21 possessions per game) rank second in the NBA in pace while the Grizzlies (103.73) are third. This is the second of four matchups between the teams, with the Rockets winning 107-100 on Nov. 4 at FedExForum. James Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer at 37.7 points per game, finished with 44 points and 10 rebounds in that first matchup while Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. missed his lone game of the season due to knee soreness.
- The Grizzlies list forwards Kyle Anderson (foot soreness), Brandon Clarke (thumb soreness) and Jae Crowder (hip soreness) as questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Rockets. Meanwhile, Houston listed forward Gerald Green (foot fracture), center Nene Hilario (abductor strain) and guard Russell Westbrook (rest) as out, while forward P.J. Tucker (shoulder) is questionable against the Grizzlies.
For the Grizzlies complete game notes, check here: Grizzlies Game Notes