The Memphis Grizzlies’ recent play at home has helped them overcome a rough start to the season. Things could be even better if they’re able to carry some of that success over to the road.
The surging Grizzlies try to build off their latest victory and avoid a third straight loss away from home when they open a four-game road trip Wednesday night against the struggling Indiana Pacers.
O.J. Mayo(notes) scored 28 points while Zach Randolph(notes) had 23 with 19 rebounds in Memphis’ 116-111 overtime win over Washington on Monday. The Grizzlies (14-16) have won four of five and 13 of 20 to recover from a 1-8 start.
“All we’ve been doing is great, and we see the results” said forward Marc Gasol(notes), who had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Now, we have to work harder because everybody is going to make adjustments because everybody knows we’re playing good.”
Technically, the Grizzlies are playing well at home, where they are 10-5. It’s been another story on the road. Memphis is 4-11 and giving up 109.5 points per game - five more than its overall season average - away from FedExForum.
The Pacers (9-21) are mired in a season-high seven-game losing streak, which may give the Grizzlies a prime opportunity to end their road woes both overall and in this series. They are 1-7 at Indiana since the franchise moved to Memphis from Vancouver in 2001.
“We’ve got to win the games we’re supposed to win, if we want to get to where we want to get to,” said Mayo, who’s averaging 22.7 points in his last three contests.
That’s especially true considering the Grizzlies’ trip gets tougher from here. Stops at Phoenix, Portland and Utah loom after the matchup with the Pacers.
Randolph, averaging 28.2 points and 18.2 rebounds in his last five games, had 26 and 16 boards in Memphis’ 107-94 home win over Indiana on Dec. 18. The 6-foot-9 veteran is averaging 26.0 points and 11.3 rebounds in his last 10 games against the Pacers.
Gasol had 17 points with 14 rebounds and Mayo added 20 in the meeting with Indiana earlier this month.
Memphis managed to get by Monday without star Rudy Gay(notes), who could miss a second straight game with a left ankle injury suffered in a 106-101 loss at Dallas on Saturday. Gay is scoring a team-high 20.6 points per game.
Despite rallying from a 19-point first-half deficit, Indiana lost 104-95 at Chicago on Tuesday. That point total actually was better than the Pacers’ average of 91.6 during their seven-game skid.
Indiana has fallen behind by large margins early in its last three games.
“We’re digging a hole,” said Indiana coach Jim O’Brien, who recently received a vote of confidence from team president Larry Bird. “There’s no other way of putting it.”
While Danny Granger(notes) could miss his 13th straight game with a torn plantar fascia, the Pacers could also be without Troy Murphy(notes) (13.8 points, 9.1 rebounds per game), who left Tuesday’s loss with a sprained left ankle.