Charlotte (9-15) at Memphis (11-14)

By JEFF MEZYDLO, STATS Senior Writer Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010 Tipoff: 8:00 pm EST Wed Dec 15, 2010

Some solid defense has the Memphis Grizzlies on the verge of their longest winning stretch of the season.

Looking for a fourth straight victory, the Grizzlies could use another strong defensive effort while trying to avoid a fifth consecutive loss to the visiting Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.

Though Memphis (11-14) has scored more than 90 points once over the last four games, it’s given up an average of 84.7 while holding Phoenix, the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland to 41.4 percent shooting during a three-game winning streak.

“It ain’t Chinese algebra,” Memphis reserve guard Tony Allen(notes) said. “If you get stops, and you execute on offense, normally that teams wins.”

Though the Grizzlies are giving up 100.9 points per contest this season, they are 10-4 when holding their opponents to fewer than 100 points.

“Defense wins games,” forward Rudy Gay(notes) said. “It’s the oldest saying in the book.”

Memphis flexed its defensive muscle once again by holding the Trail Blazers to 36.7 percent shooting and outscoring them 25-9 in the fourth quarter of an 83-73 win Monday.

Zach Randolph(notes) had 25 points with 20 rebounds, while Gay scored 16 to give the Grizzlies a chance for their first four-game winning streak since Jan. 12-18.

“We’re believing that we can win and just coming out and playing basketball,” Randolph told the Grizzlies’ official website. “It’s important that we keep building and focusing on these games.”

Randolph continues to play well, averaging 22.4 points and 15.2 boards his last five games.

“I just try to be aggressive and hit the glass on both ends and play around the basket,” said Randolph, who has four games with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in less than two seasons with the Grizzlies.

Randolph has averaged 23.8 points and 10.8 boards in his last five games versus Charlotte. However, the Grizzlies have not fared so well against the Bobcats of late.

Memphis has averaged 86.3 points during its four-game skid versus Charlotte. The Bobcats, meanwhile, have averaged 98.8 on 51.5 percent shooting during that stretch.

That recent success over the Grizzlies and a 97-91 win over Toronto on Tuesday could the provide the Bobcats (9-15) with some much-needed confidence to help them avoid a seventh consecutive road loss. Charlotte is 3-9 away from home.

“The only way if you maybe have some deficiencies is you play harder, you compete harder, you execute better,” Bobcats coach Larry Brown said.

The Bobcats avoided a third consecutive loss by shooting 52.0 percent and matching a season high with 13 blocked shots against the Raptors.

“I think (Tuesday) was the starting point. We’ve got to build off that,” said Gerald Wallace(notes), who had 16 points and four blocks.

Charlotte’s Stephen Jackson(notes) (17.7 ppg) was limited to seven points before fouling out Tuesday, and has totaled 35 his last three games. However, he’s averaged 23.5 points in his last four games versus Memphis.

Wallace, though, has averaged 10.3 points in 10 career games at Memphis.

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Wednesday, Dec 15