The busiest stretch of their season seems to have brought out the best in the Memphis Grizzlies.
Trying to win three games in three nights, the visiting Grizzlies look to put some distance between themselves and Dallas in the Western Conference standings with a fourth straight victory over the Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Memphis (30-22) opened a stretch of five games in six days by losing 98-89 at Houston on Friday, but has since won three in a row. One night after winning 94-88 at West-leading Oklahoma City, the Grizzlies overcame a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Golden State 98-94 at home Tuesday.
O.J. Mayo scored 19 points and Mike Conley added 18 in his first game after missing the previous two with an ankle injury, and Memphis used a late 13-0 run to record its fifth victory in six games.
The Grizzlies are fifth in the West, one game ahead of sixth-place Dallas (30-24).
"We started to try to find it within ourselves when we were down eight or nine at the end, saying: 'We can't lose this game,'" Conley said. "That game we played (Monday) night is nothing if we don't win this game. Guys understood that and went out there and found a way to win."
Trying to match a season high with a third consecutive road victory, Memphis also looks to win its third straight at Dallas following a nine-game road skid in the series. Zach Randolph scored 27 points and Conley added 17 with 10 assists during a 104-103 victory over the Mavericks in the teams' most recent meeting at American Airlines Center on March 6, 2011.
Back tightness limited Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki to one point in 10 minutes while Memphis handed the visiting Mavericks a 96-85 loss Feb. 29. Marc Gasol had 22 points with 11 rebounds while Conley added 20 and 10 assists for the Grizzlies' third consecutive victory overall in the series.
If Dallas is to end that skid, it likely must show some improvement after shooting 39.0 percent during a 94-75 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Nowitzki scored 19 points, but the Mavericks trailed by 14 at halftime en route to posting their third-lowest point total this season.
The Mavericks have dropped four of seven since a four-game winning streak.
"I don't think you can play much worse," coach Rick Carlisle told the Mavericks' official website. "We can't just dismiss it like it's just a bad game. We've got to correct the things that are wrong and bounce back. We've just got to be better."
Dallas played without injured point guard Jason Kidd (groin) and key reserve Lamar Odom (illness) on Monday. While Odom could return for this contest, the 39-year-old Kidd is likely to miss the next three games.
"(Kidd's injury is) something that has been an issue and we've got to get it resolved," Carlisle said.
Nowitzki has totaled eight points in his last two games at Memphis, but he's averaged 25.9 on 54.8 percent shooting in the last 14 home contests against the Grizzlies including playoffs.
These teams meet for the final time in the regular season Saturday night in Memphis.
- Memphis Grizzlies
- the Mavericks
- Mike Conley