The Memphis Grizzlies haven’t reached the .500 mark since the eighth game of the season.
Taking advantage of an easy stretch in their schedule, the Grizzlies look even their record Saturday night as they go their sixth straight win at home over the Washington Wizards, who have lost 22 consecutive road games.
Memphis (23-24) has won four of five, all against teams with worse records than its own. The Grizzlies bounced back from a 93-88 loss at New Jersey on Wednesday by erasing a 21-point deficit en route to a 99-94 victory over Philadelphia on Friday.
The game was Memphis’ first without O.J. Mayo(notes), who was suspended 10 games earlier this week for violating the league and union’s anti-drug program with a positive test for dedehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Without Mayo, the Grizzlies’ reserves keyed a critical 15-3 run to help them come back from a 70-49 deficit in the third quarter as Memphis outscored Philadelphia 42-21 in the fourth.
“Credit our bench, they kept us in the game,” Conley said.
The Grizzlies, who are giving up 91.5 points over the last four games, have pulled within two games of Portland for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. A victory Saturday would put Memphis at .500 for the first time since Nov. 8.
The Grizzlies lost to the Wizards 89-86 on Nov. 19 in Washington, but hasn’t fallen to them in Memphis since Nov. 3, 2004.
Washington (13-32) saw its road woes continue Friday with a 124-117 double-overtime loss to Oklahoma City.
Young missed a potential game-winner at the end of the first overtime, and Lewis’ tip try also missed.
Only Dallas (29) in 1992-93 and the New Orleans Jazz (28) in 1974-75 have started seasons with more losses in a row on the road.
Young will look to help Washington get its first road victory since April 9. He’s averaging a career-best 17.2 points per games, but 24.4 over the last 10. He scored five points in 21 minutes in the win over the Grizzlies earlier this season, shooting 1 of 8.
Washington has given up at least 100 points in each of the last six road games, and is allowing 109.4 points on the road in 2010-11 compared to 97.4 at home.
The Wizards have given up an average of 112.0 points over their last three trips to Memphis.