The Memphis Grizzlies are in desperate need of victories as they attempt to overcome a sizable gap in the Western Conference playoff race.
Failing to take advantage of the struggling Golden State Warriors could put a dent in those postseason hopes.
As they continue a three-game road trip Wednesday night, the Grizzlies will try to earn their second victory in five days over the Warriors, losers of 10 of 12 this month.
Memphis (38-33) is on pace for its first winning season since its previous playoff appearance in 2005-06, but the Grizzlies are four games behind the No. 8 spot with 11 games remaining.
They’ve helped themselves by posting consecutive double-digit wins, beginning with a 123-107 home victory over Golden State on Saturday night. They then beat Sacramento 102-85 on Monday night to open this trip, improving to 8-1 in their last nine on the road.
Facing the Warriors (19-51) could help the Grizzlies earn another victory as they’ve won five of the past six meetings. Memphis, though, fell 113-105 in its previous trip to Oakland on Nov. 4 before winning the past two matchups by a combined 29 points.
Gay has led Memphis with 23.3 points per game this season against the Warriors with Randolph averaging 23.0. Randolph, who has already set the Grizzlies’ single-season mark for double-doubles, has averaged 23.2 points and 12.6 rebounds in his last five games versus Golden State.
Among those performances was a season-high 33 points and 18 rebounds in a 121-108 home win Dec. 22.
That loss was part of a 7-21 start for the Warriors and things haven’t gone much better since then. Injuries have plagued them for much of this season, and they’ve used fewer than 10 players in their rotation in 16 straight games.
Monta Ellis(notes), sixth in the NBA with 25.8 points per game, has tried to aid his short-handed club by averaging 31.3 over the last four. He had 30 points in a 133-131 home loss to Phoenix on Monday night.
The Suns finally pushed away from the Warriors with Amare Stoudemire’s seven straight points late in the fourth quarter. Ellis responded with seven in the final 26 seconds but missed a half-court attempt at the buzzer.
“Quite a game, quite an effort,” coach Don Nelson said. “If we just keep playing hard, we’re going to win some games here, if we keep doing what we did tonight.”
Nelson’s club has alternated wins and losses in its last six home games. The Grizzlies are 5-2 there against Memphis since the start of 2006-07.