Grizzlies-Mavericks Preview

The Associated Press

The Memphis Grizzlies are on a roll, and the venue hasn't made much of a difference.

On the brink of their longest road winning streak in three seasons, the Grizzlies go for another victory against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.

Memphis (24-10) has put together four-game winning streaks both overall and on the road to move within 1 1/2 games of Southwest Division-leading San Antonio.

The Grizzlies got closer to the Spurs by beating them 101-98 in overtime at home Friday. Rudy Gay put them ahead for good on a jumper with 27.8 seconds to play in the extra session after Tony Parker forced OT with a 3-pointer at the fourth-quarter buzzer.

"It was a good test of our mental toughness and our togetherness because we did stick together," coach Lionel Hollins said. "We kept operating efficiently offensively, and nobody really tried to go off on their own, and we got the win."

That's a big reason Memphis is finding success on the road and in position for its longest winning streak as the visitor since reeling off seven straight road victories Feb. 17-March 10, 2010.

Memphis is 6-27 all-time at Dallas, dropping the most recent visit 95-85 on April 4. However, that's the Grizzlies' only defeat in the past six overall matchups, and they beat the Mavericks 92-82 behind 26 points from Gay on Dec. 21.

Another strong performance from the forward could be just what the Grizzlies need. He leads the team with 17.9 points per game, and he hit 10 of 20 field goals to finish with 23 points Friday, three shy of his combined total from the previous two games.

Gay wasn't very productive at Dallas in April, managing eight points - less than half his average in 10 career games at the American Airlines Center.

Zach Randolph also struggled in that matchup, mustering four points and five rebounds, but he's entering this meeting averaging 18.8 points on 60.8 percent shooting in his last four contests.

The Mavericks (14-23) are trying to win back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game winning streak Dec. 6-10. They're 3-13 since, surrendering an average of 106.8 points in that stretch, although they ended a four-game skid by beating Sacramento 117-112 in overtime on the road Thursday.

"Once it got to overtime, we said, 'We're going to win this game,'" said forward Shawn Marion, who had 19 points and 10 rebounds. "It's a baby step in the right direction. We just got to keep crawling."

O.J. Mayo had 24 points, a season-high 10 rebounds and five assists Thursday after averaging 14.7 points on 34.8 percent shooting - 3 for 21 from beyond the arc - over the previous three contests.

The guard may have some extra motivation to build on his latest effort.

Mayo was drafted third overall by the Grizzlies in 2008, and averaged 18.5 points to lead all rookies that season. That remains his career high, however, and he was used exclusively as a reserve by Memphis last season before joining the Mavs as a free agent in the summer.

Mayo is leading Dallas with 18.4 points per game, but he struggled greatly in his return to Memphis last month, making 3 of 11 from the floor and finishing with 10 points.

Vince Carter had 14 points and seven boards in that meeting, and he's coming off a 23-point performance Thursday.

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