NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 22nd (All times Eastern)
San Antonio Spurs (10-1) at Memphis Grizzlies (7-5), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will try for a ninth consecutive victory on Friday night when they visit FedExForum to take on the suddenly hot Memphis Grizzlies.
The Spurs haven't lost since Nov. 2 in Portland. Since that setback, San Antonio has won four straight on the road by an average of 17.75 points per game.
The Spurs, who swept the Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals last summer, won their eighth straight with a 104-93 home win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. San Antonio trailed in the third quarter, but came through with a ninth straight win.
Tony Parker paced the Spurs with 19 points to lead six players in double figures. Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, Danny Green and Boris Diaw also cracked the 10-point mark. Splitter grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Spurs march into Memphis on Friday to play a much-improved Grizzlies team. San Antonio, which is third in the NBA in opponents' scoring, beat Memphis by seven in Alamo City on opening night.
"They're a better team now than when we played them and beat them earlier," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said of Friday's opponent. "It will be a really good test."
Memphis just swept a four-game western trip with wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors to get over .500 on the season.
Last season, the Grizz were one of the league's best home teams, but so far in the 2013-14 campaign, Memphis is just 3-2 at home with losses coming to the New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors.
Also, last season, the Grizzlies were an elite defensive unit with the Defensive Player of the Year (Marc Gasol) and a first-team All-NBA defender (Tony Allen). This season, Memphis has inched up to sixth in opponents' scoring.
"Defensively we played a lot better for longer stretches," Gasol said of the road trip.
The Grizzlies held their four opponents to an average of 88.75 ppg. The Warriors only managed 81 points in Memphis' overtime victory Wednesday night.
With Allen suspended for kicking Chris Paul in the head on Monday, the Grizzlies held the Warriors under 20 points in three quarters.
Zach Randolph played up to his All-Star form from a season ago on Wednesday with 21 points and 12 rebounds. He averaged 24.25 ppg and 12 rpg during the four-game trip.
Gasol scored 18 points, grabbed 11 boards and blocked four shots against Golden State. Mike Conley added 19 points and committed zero turnovers.
The Grizz and Spurs have alternated regular-season wins and losses over the last four and Memphis has won two straight at home against San Antonio in the regular season.
11/22 10:26:55 ET