Gameday preview: Wolves at Memphis
- December 15, 2013 - 12:02 AM
5 P.M. at Memphis • FedEx Forum • FSN, 830-AM
Preview: The 10-12 Grizzlies have lost their past two games, four of their past five and seven of their past 10 after Friday’s 104-98 loss at New Orleans under new head coach Dave Joerger, who grew up in Staples, Minn., and won more minor league championships (five) than future NBA coaches Phil Jackson, George Karl, Flip Saunders and Eric Musselman did combined. … Starting center Marc Gasol has missed the past eight games because of a knee-ligament sprain that has him sidelined indefinitely. … The Grizzlies had won their past 17 games when they had shot 50 percent or better from the field, but that streak ended Friday when they shot exactly 50 percent (40-80) against the Pelicans. … Memphis swept last season’s three-game series and has won the past 11 meetings between the teams, including eight in a row at FedEx Forum since the Wolves won there on Jan. 6, 2009. The Grizzlies won twice in Memphis and once at Target Center last season. They are 5-8 at home this season after going 32-9 there last season.
Players to watch: Grizzlies starting point guard Mike Conley is averaging a career-high 17.7 points and has scored 20 or more seven times this season. It took him until March 9 last season to do that. Starting power forward Zach Randolph has 10 double-double games in points and rebounds in his past 15 games played. … Orono’s Jon Leuer has stepped forth in Gasol’s absence, coming off the bench to average 16 points a game in his past six games. He went 8-for-10 from the field, scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds Friday in New Orleans. A 6-10 power forward who played collegiately at Wisconsin, he has led his team in scoring twice — Friday as well as a career-high 23 points against Phoenix on Dec. 3 – in those six games. … Former Timberwolf Kosta Koufos is starting at center with Gasol out, and former Wolves G Mike Miller, who returned to Memphis last summer as a free agent after winning two titles with Miami, comes off the bench.
Injuries: Wolves C Ronny Turiaf (elbow) and F Chase Budinger (knee surgery) are out. Gasol (left MCL sprain) and F/G Quincy Pondexter (foot stress fracture) are out indefinitely for the Grizzlies.
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