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Grizzlies-Clippers Preview

Grizzlies-Clippers Preview
For a Memphis Grizzlies team seeking to end its latest lengthy losing streak, a second straight game in Los Angeles - even against the lowly Clippers - may not be the best solution.

The Grizzlies look to avoid their ninth consecutive defeat overall and fifth in a row against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Wednesday night in a matchup of 15-win teams.

Memphis (15-44) lost a season-high 12 straight from Jan. 6-31, then bounced back by winning four of its next five. That brief surge has been followed by its current eight-game skid, in which the last three contests have been decided by 10 points or fewer.

The Grizzlies were within three points of the Los Angeles Lakers early in the third quarter Tuesday night before eventually falling 99-89 to the Western Conference leaders.

"For us to come in here and be only down five at halftime and be in the game down the stretch ... it would have taken a miracle," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said. "We would have had to play a perfect game to win."

Marc Gasol recorded his 13th double-double and second in the last three games (17 points, 14 rebounds) Tuesday, while rookie O.J. Mayo scored 17 points, but the Grizzlies fell to a league-worst 3-24 on the road.

Even facing the Clippers (15-46) may not help the Grizzlies stop their current slide. Memphis has lost its last four games against the Clippers at Staples by an average of 15.8 points.

The teams have split two contests in Memphis this season.

For Los Angeles, this game could bring the best chance for a win on its five-game homestand. The Clippers fell to 0-2 on the homestand Monday night when they fell 106-78 to San Antonio.

Al Thornton and reserve Fred Jones each had 14 points to lead six players in double figures for the Clippers, who have lost three straight overall.

It was a subpar night for Thornton, who missed 10 of his first 11 shots and finished 5-for-19 from the field. He leads the Clippers with 16.8 points per game, but has totaled just 34 during the current losing streak after missing the previous three games with a sore right foot.

"I have a bad shooting night, then a good shooting night. That's what I do," the second-year forward said. "I got the looks I wanted. Every shot I took was a good shot. I just missed."

The Clippers can ill afford another poor performance from Thornton, especially with the status of two other offensive contributors uncertain for Wednesday.

Zach Randolph, averaging 25.3 points and 11 rebounds in his last four contests, was not with the team Monday after flying to Indianapolis to be with his seriously ill father. Meanwhile, Eric Gordon, among the league's leading rookie scorers (15.1 ppg), has missed three straight games with a bruised left shoulder and is considered day-to-day.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 4, 2009


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