Memphis Grizzlies will try to snap their losing streak tonight
by THE SPORTS NETWORK
The Memphis Grizzlies will try to prevent their season high-tying losing streak from reaching four games Friday night in a showdown with the Sacramento Kings at FedEx Forum.
The Grizzlies are mired in their second three-game slide of the season and dropped a 103-82 decision against the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday in the Alamo City. Rudy Gay, who missed Monday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers to attend his grandmother’s funeral, led Memphis with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Marc Gasol scored 12 points and Zach Randolph and Tony Allen each finished with 11 for the Grizzlies, who have lost three straight by double digits.
“Its just frustration right now,” said Allen. “Obviously we’re not playing like we started off so its back to the drawing board.”
Memphis’ skid comes on the heels of a four-game winning streak. Known for their tight defense, the Grizzlies seemed to have forgotten how to defend as evidenced by their recent lackluster approach. Still, the Grizzlies are second in the NBA in defense, allowing 90.4 ppg. They have failed to score 100 points over the last three games and are 11-0 this season when doing so.
The Grizzlies have won 26 of their last 30 home games and will play five of the next six games at FedEx Forum, where they are 14-5 this season. In injury news for the Grizz, Randolph, who leads the NBA with 25 double-doubles, is listed as questionable Friday due to a strained lower back.
Sacramento can match a season-best winning streak with a win tonight and has won back-to-back contests since losing four straight.
The Kings, who will begin a three-game road trip and are only 3-14 as the visitor, recorded a 95-94 triumph versus the Washington Wizards Wednesday at Sleep Train Arena in the finale of a five-game homestand (2-3). Tyreke Evans’ free throw with 11.4 seconds left sealed the win for the Kings, and he joined DeMarcus Cousins and John Salmons with 21 points on the night.
“We definitely made some big plays down the stretch,” said Cousins, who pulled down a game-best 16 rebounds and has scored 20 or more points in three of the last four games. “It was a good effort, a great team effort. I am happy.”
Jimmer Fredette scored all 12 of his points in the second half, while Evans also had eight rebounds, eight assists, and three steals. Evans is averaging 14.4 ppg in his past five games.
Sacramento outscored Washington, 62-46, in the paint, making up for 18 turnovers that led to 21 points for the Wizards. The Kings shot 48.2 percent for the game and last won three in a row from Dec. 5-8.
The Kings will also visit Charlotte and New Orleans, and will play three games in four nights. They are just 1-9 on the road against teams from the West. In other news, Cousins, Lakers center Dwight Howard and Warriors big man David Lee are the only players averaging at least 17.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg this season.
Sacramento sustained a 113-81 home defeat to Memphis on Jan. 7 this season and have lost five of six and 10 of the previous 14 meetings between the teams.
The Kings are win less in five straight and 13 of 16 games at the Grizzlies.
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