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Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks for room to drive on James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center on December 31, 2018 in Houston, Texas.
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Bear Necessities: Key notes, numbers and trends entering Grizzlies-Rockets matchup

by Ross Wooden, Grizzlies Communications

HOUSTON - The Grizzlies (19-23) wrap up a two-game road swing and start a four-game stretch against some of the NBA’s top teams when they play the Rockets (24-18) on Monday at the Toyota Center.

Bear Necessities is a game-day spotlight on some Grizzlies notes of note to stay informed entering tonight's matchup.

Here are a few things to watch:

  • Counting Monday’s game in Houston, the Grizzlies' next four opponents (Rockets, Bucks, Celtics and Raptors) enter the week with a combined record of 112-59 this season. The Grizzlies are a combined 1-4 against those teams this season, with the lone victory coming on the road at Milwaukee. Memphis is looking for its first victory of the season against the Rockets after dropping the first two of four matchups with its Southwest Division rival.

  • Beating the Rockets will require slowing down reigning league MVP James Harden, who enters Monday’s game having matched Kobe Bryant with 16 consecutive games of scoring at least 30 points. Harden scored 38 points in Sunday’s road loss in Orlando, and the streak of 30-point games is the longest by a player since the NBA/ABA merger at the start of the 1976-77 season.

  • Speaking of Harden’s record-setting trend, the Rockets' guard is also coming off another historic performance with the Grizzlies on deck. Harden matched Damon Stoudamire’s NBA record for most missed three-pointers in a single game when shot 1-for-17 from beyond the arc Sunday against the Magic. The last time he faced the Grizzlies, Harden posted 43 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds to offset nine turnovers in a 113-101 victory in Houston on New Year’s Eve. He was 21-for-27 from the free-throw line in that game, with his 43 points surpassing Hakeem Olajuwon's 42 as the most scored by a Rockets player against Memphis. Harden's 27 free-throw attempts were also the most by any Grizzlies opponent.

  • Grizzlies rookie forward Jaren Jackson Jr. has shot at least 50 percent from the field overall in 13 of the past 15 games, with a 55.3-percent clip during that span of games. He also has scored in double figures six straight games, which is the longest of his season and NBA career. Jackson is averaging season-highs of 16.2 points, 1.2 steals and 61.3 percent shooting in six January games.

  • The Grizzlies announced Sunday that forward Kyle Anderson will miss 2-to-4 weeks with a sprained ankle, and he joins Dillon Brooks (toe surgery) and Chandler Parsons (not with team) as out for Monday’s game. The Rockets have listed Carmelo Anthony (not with team), Clint Capela (thumb), Chris Paul (hamstring) and Eric Gordon (knee) as out, while Brandon Knight (knee) is questionable.

For the Grizzlies complete game notes, check here: Grizzlies Game Notes