NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, November 25th (All times Eastern)
Houston Rockets (9-5) at Memphis Grizzlies (7-6), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Rockets hope to solve their woes at FedExForum when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night.
Houston has lost five straight and seven of its last 10 games at Memphis, which took three of the four meetings between the teams last season.
The Rockets, though, enter this matchup having won four of their last five games, including Saturday's 112-101 victory versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Aaron Brooks provided a huge lift off the bench with 26 points, while Jeremy Lin scored 19 and Dwight Howard added 11 and 13 rebounds. Terrence Jones chipped in 18 points and 10 boards for Houston, which made 51.9 percent of its shots and a season-high 17-of-31 3-pointers. Brooks had six 3-pointers and Patrick Beverly went 5-of-6 beyond the arc en route to 17 points.
Houston was without its leading scorer James Harden, who was held out of the lineup with a sore foot. He is questionable for Monday's game.
"I think the difference was that about two days prior you knew that James (Harden) wasn't going to play so mentally you're more prepared for what's about to happen," said Brooks.
The Rockets, who opened the win over Minnesota on a 14-2 run, are first in the NBA in scoring with 109.9 points per game.
After a perfect four-game road trip, the Grizzlies came back to earth in Friday's 102-86 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Mike Conley scored 28 points and Zach Randolph provided 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. Tony Allen ended with 12 points for the Grizzlies, who made just 3-of-11 3-pointers and gave up 100-plus points for the second time in the past three games.
The Spurs were just too much and sank 53.2 percent of their shots. Memphis was eliminated by San Antonio, 4-0, in the 2013 Western Conference Finals.
"It wasn't a lack of defense. It was more so that they were making plays," said Conley. "They made some big-time plays down the stretch."
It didn't help that Grizzlies forward Marc Gasol suffered a Grade 2 left MCL sprain in his knee in the second quarter and was helped to the locker room. He is out indefinitely. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is averaging 16.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 13 games this season.
Meanwhile, Randolph, who averaged 24.3 points and 12.0 boards during the recent four-game road sweep of all the California-based teams, has recorded double-doubles in five straight and seven of eight games.
The Grizzlies hope to stop a two-game slide at home against the Rockets.
11/25 10:27:30 ET