Preview: Clippers at Grizzlies
An overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 23 began a stretch of four setbacks in five games for the Memphis Grizzlies. Host Memphis will attempt to dig out of its slide when it clashes against the Clippers again on Wednesday.
The Grizzlies were off to a strong 12-5 start before the recent funk but point guard Mike Conley insists there is no need to be troubled. “We’re not in panic mode at all,” Conley said after Sunday’s 103-95 road loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. “We’ve built ourselves a good little cushion to have a little spell like this. Hopefully, we’ll just get back home, get back to work, get a few days in and get back together.” The Clippers are flying high with 12 wins in their past 15 games and they posted a 129-126 road triumph over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday to retain a share of the Western Conference lead with the Denver Nuggets. “We’ve had a bunch of close games,” backup guard Lou Williams told reporters after the win. “If you’re going to compete in the Western Conference – there’s a lot of talented teams – you’re going to have to be able to (win those).”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), FS Southeast (Memphis)
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (16-7): Forward Tobias Harris was named Western Conference Player of the Month on Monday and continued his strong play that night with 27 points against the Pelicans. Harris scored 24 or more points in six of the past nine games and knocked down at least half his field-goal attempts in 15 of the last 21 contests. Forward Danilo Gallinari also has a hot hand with four 20-point efforts in the past six games, including 24 points against New Orleans.
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (13-9): Rookie power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. has been a pleasant surprise with averages of 13.9 points and 4.5 rebounds while fitting in with veterans like Conley and center Marc Gasol. “Everybody here knows a lot about the game, so you can pick up a lot just by watching them,” the 19-year-old Jackson told reporters. “If you have a question, it’s easily answered because they have so much experience and they were in the playoffs and they’ve played together for a long time.” Jackson scored a season-best 36 points in Friday’s 131-125 double-overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets and followed up with 17 points against the 76ers.
1. The Clippers won the past three meetings and 10 of the last 14.
2. Williams scored 20 points against the Pelicans to reach the mark for the third time in the past four games.
3. Gasol was just 4-of-14 shooting in the loss to the 76ers after making 16-of-23 over the previous two games.