Memphis coach Hubie Brown knows that if the Grizzlies hope to stay in the Western Conference playoff race, they must take care of the ball.
The Grizzlies will look to cut down on their turnovers and enter the All-Star break on a high note when they meet the Los Angeles Clippers at the Pyramid.
Memphis, which is tied with Denver for seventh in the West, had won four straight before falling to Denver 86-83 on Monday. Although they shot 45.1 percent from the field, the Grizzlies turned the ball over 19 times.
Brown was clearly upset with the turnovers, but he also had harsh words for the officials.
“We are not happy with the turnovers,” Brown said. “It was extremely difficult for us to run our offense in the second half, especially down the stretch, when guys are holding you and knocking guys to the floor and there are no calls being made. It isn’t like a blind man couldn’t have seen what went on here.”
However, the Grizzlies will enter the All-Star break in the midst of the best season in their nine-year history. Memphis has already set a new season record with 29 wins and will likely use the days off to heal from various injuries.
Starting shooting guard Mike Miller played just three minutes in the second half Monday before leaving with back spasms, and reserve guard Bonzi Wells injured his right knee in the first quarter and did not return.
The Clippers will be looking to break a three-game losing streak when they head to Memphis for the eighth of nine consecutive road games.
Los Angeles, which has not played at home since a 102-92 win over Chicago on Jan. 27, fell to Minnesota 96-84 on Tuesday. But forward Corey Maggette said that fatigue has not played a role in the Clippers’ recent struggles.
“No, I’m not going to say that,” Maggette said. “We have to be grown up about this. We’re well-conditioned for this.”
“I tried to go back in, but it was too tight,” Richardson said. “I’ll get it treated and we’ll see.”