News » Clippers-Grizzlies Preview 2009-11-18

Clippers-Grizzlies Preview 2009-11-18

Clippers-Grizzlies Preview 2009-11-18With Allen Iverson officially out of the picture, the Memphis Grizzlies can completely focus on playing better basketball.

The Grizzlies look for their second straight victory when they host the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

After playing just three games before taking a leave of absence from the team, Iverson's brief career with the Grizzlies ended when the club announced Monday they had mutually agreed to end a one-year contract with the former MVP.

The 10-time All-Star, unhappy about coming off the bench, averaged 12.3 points and 22.3 minutes.

"Because of personal matters that forced him to leave the team on Nov. 7, Allen will step away from the game at this time, allowing him to focus on those matters," general manager Chris Wallace said in a statement. "As a result, we will be ending our contractual agreement with Allen, which will allow both parties to move forward. We wish Allen the best."

The announcement came two days after Memphis (2-8) snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 97-87 win over Minnesota.

"We sat down as a team and had a long discussion about what we needed to do to get better," point guard Mike Conley said. "One was to be mentally prepared before the game, and then go out there and work as hard as we can. Everybody from the first guy to the last guy come in there with 100 percent effort. That's what wins games."

With that victory and Iverson no longer a distraction, the Grizzlies hope to change their fortunes.

"We'll turn it into a winning streak. Why not?" said O.J. Mayo, who had 19 points as the Grizzlies shot 48.8 percent against the Timberwolves.

They can start by avenging a 113-110 road loss to Los Angeles on Nov. 7.

Rudy Gay scored a season-high 33 points and Zach Randolph added 19 against his former club, but the Grizzlies lost for the eighth time in 11 games to the Clippers (4-8), who are coming off a 110-102 loss at New Orleans on Tuesday.

Gay is averaging a team-high 20.5 points this season and 28.1 on 53.8 percent shooting in his last seven games versus the Clippers.

The Grizzlies could have guard Jamaal Tinsley available for this contest. Tinsley, who signed on Saturday, hasn't played in the NBA since Feb. 5, 2008 with Indiana, but was ordered to stay away from the club while still under contract.

He averaged 10.4 points and seven assists in seven seasons with the Pacers.

Los Angeles' Chris Kaman had 26 points against Memphis earlier this month. The 7-footer is averaging a career-high 21.8 points with 8.8 rebounds this season.

Al Thornton scored a team-high 30 on Tuesday for the Clippers, who have lost four of five since winning three in a row. Averaging 7.4 points in his first eight games - including a six-point effort against the Grizzlies - Thornton is pouring in 19.3 in his last four contests.

Los Angeles will be without reserve guard Kareem Rush, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Tuesday.

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Added: November 18, 2009


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