Whether it’s at home or on the road, the Memphis Grizzlies are finding ways to win of late.
The visiting Grizzlies look to maintain their recent run of success while trying to avoid a third consecutive loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.
O.J. Mayo(notes) hit a 21-foot jumper with 5.2 seconds left, and Marc Gasol(notes) recorded a key block at the buzzer to help Memphis to a 91-89 win over Utah on Friday. The victory gave the Grizzlies (18-17) a split of the home-and-home series against the Jazz after they fell 117-94 at Utah on Wednesday.
The Grizzlies, who didn’t win their 19th game last season until March 30, have won eight of 10, including five in a row at home.
Memphis, 7-12 away from the FedEx Forum, now hits the road for one game after going 3-1 on its last road swing.
The Grizzlies’ turnaround from last season can partially be credited to the addition of Randolph, who’s averaging 20.5 points and 11.4 boards while playing all 35 games in his first season with the team. He’s averaging 26.1 and 15.1 rebounds in his last 10 contests overall, and 26.0 with 10.7 boards in his last three against Charlotte.
Though Memphis has played well of late, it was swept in its two-game series with the Bobcats last season. The Grizzlies were held to 84.5 points in the series and committed 21 turnovers in a 101-86 loss at Charlotte in the teams’ most recent meeting Jan. 21.
The Bobcats (15-19) are one of the league’s top defensive teams, allowing a league-low 93.1 points per game this season and 90.8 while going 12-4 at home, where they’ve won three in a row.
While the Grizzlies have turned into one of the biggest surprises in the Western Conference after a slow start, the Bobcats are eighth in the East standings with a chance of making the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. Charlotte opens a six-game homestand after falling 97-93 at New York on Thursday for its second loss in six games.
“I don’t like us shooting 3s to be honest,” said Bobcats coach Larry Brown, whose team is shooting 33.0 percent from beyond the arc this season. “You just can’t just come down and not move the defense and move yourself and shoot it.”
Brown would prefer to have the ball much closer to the basket and in Jackson’s hands. Though the veteran swingman is shooting 29.4 percent from 3-point range, he’s averaging 27.6 points in his last five games.
Jackson is averaging 16.4 points in 21 games against the Grizzlies, but he has scored 23.5 per game in his last two versus the Grizzlies.
The Bobcats have won three of four against Memphis after losing the first six meetings between the teams.