Not having Randolph at all contributed to two losses for Hollins’ club to the Utah Jazz.
The Grizzlies, in fifth place in the Western Conference, seek their seventh straight home win Saturday night as these teams complete their season series.
Randolph had 10 points and 11 rebounds as Memphis (34-24) saw its four-game win streak end with a 107-97 loss Thursday at San Antonio. The former All-Star has missed 37 games with a torn right ACL and come off the bench over the last 13 contests with four double-doubles in his last five efforts.
“I don’t know that we’re ever going to do that,” said Hollins about starting Randolph. “Zach can come in and score anytime. He’s getting his double-doubles, so what else is there?”
Randolph wasn’t with the Grizzlies as they averaged 86.5 points in their losses to the Jazz (31-29). He could help slow down Al Jefferson, who averaged 20.5 points and 12.0 rebounds for Utah, which shot 50.6 percent and outscored Memphis by 22 points in the paint.
The Grizzlies are seeking their first seven-game home win streak since an 11-game run Dec. 18, 2009-Jan. 25, 2010. They are 1 1/2 games behind the Clippers in the race for home-court advantage in the first round and are beginning a stretch of six games in eight days.
“We have a tough weekend ahead of us with Utah on Saturday and New Orleans on Sunday in New Orleans,” Hollins said. “Then we go on to Minnesota so it doesn’t get any easier. We just have to keep battling, playing and try to scratch and claw to get a win.”
Rudy Gay had 19 points Thursday on 7-of-22 shooting after he averaged 22.5 and made 56.3 percent of his shots during the four-game win streak.
“I guess you can count it as a moral victory,” Gay said. “We played them tough. Obviously, we wanted to win this game and it meant a little bit to us.”
Utah fell into 10th place in the West after Friday’s 96-85 loss at New Orleans. The game was tied at halftime before the Jazz allowed the Hornets to shoot 50.0 percent after the break.
“We had opportunities to win the ballgame and get out of here,” coach Ty Corbin said. “We told them at halftime, ‘You can’t let this team hang around.’ They get close at the end and they have guys that are capable of making shots, and that’s what happened.”
“This is a big loss for us tonight,” Millsap said. “This was a game we needed and one we were suppose to win.”
Utah has split two games on its trip heading into the finale.
“We have to put this game behind us and get ready for Memphis tomorrow night,” Millsap said.