Grizzlies hope to get back on track with Washington in town
(SportsNetwork.com) - The last time Washington Wizards star guard John Wall faced the Memphis Grizzlies he dropped a career-high 47 points on 13-of-22 shooting and sank 19-of-24 free throws.
The Wizards are hoping for a similar performance when they invade FedExForum Tuesday to take on the Grizzlies. Wall averaged 28.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in two games versus Memphis last season. Both teams split a pair of meetings, but the Grizzlies are 11-4 in the last 15 encounters.
Washington has struggled on Beale Street, losing eight straight, 10 of 11 and 14 of the last 16 trips there.
However, the Wizards appear to be a much better team this time around and sit just a half-game off the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. They have missed the playoffs in each of the past five seasons and will also visit Houston on this brief road trip before the All-Star break.
The Wizards went 3-2 on a recent homestand, which featured wins over Oklahoma City, Portland and more recently Sacramento. After losses to San Antonio and Cleveland, the Wizards handed the Kings a 93-84 defeat on Sunday behind 18 points from Nene and 17 out of Marcin Gortat.
Bradley Beal and Wall finished with 16 and 12 points, respectively, for the Wizards, who scored 26 points off 18 Sacramento turnovers. Washington shot 43 percent for the game and made only 8-of-21 3-pointers, but won for the ninth time in the last 15 tries.
"I'm happy with the win, but won't accept the way we played. I don't think we played a good game. That's a game we should have won by 30 points," said Wizards forward Martell Webster, who provided just eight points off the bench.
Washington averaged 104.0 points per game on the homestand and allowed 99.0 ppg. It hopes to convert that success on the road, where it has won nine of the past 13 games and owns a 12-12 mark.
The Grizzlies are back home after Sunday's 91-83 overtime loss in Cleveland.
Nick Calathes led Memphis with 17 points and has scored 10 or more in three straight games. He has started the past five games and is averaging 14.6 points in that stretch.
James Johnson and Zach Randolph scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Grizzlies, losers in three of four games since winning 11 of 12. They made only 38.4 percent for the game. Courtney Lee scored 10 points.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 28 points and Dion Waiters added 18.
"They are a talented team. They have a bunch of guys that can really score the basketball. I definitely think they're going to turn the corner in the last half of the season," Grizzlies coach David Joerger said of the Cavs.
Memphis is only three games out of a playoff spot in the talented West and will try to move its 13-14 home record to the .500 mark. The Grizzlies have one of the best defenses and are third in opponents' scoring (94.9 ppg).
02/11 10:22:51 ET