The surging Memphis Grizzlies have rolled off eight wins in their last nine games and four straight on the road and will look to extend their run in Sacramento, taking on the Kings on Wednesday. Memphis kicked off a three-game road swing with a 98-81 win in Portland on Tuesday, led by 23 points and 10 rebounds from Zach Randolph. The effort from Randolph was his 190th double-double as a member of the Grizzlies, moving him past former Memphis forward Pau Gasol as the franchise's all-time leader.
Sacramento has lost four in a row and seven of nine but after playing without leading scorers DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay the last three games, reinforcements could be on the way. Gay warmed up in Utah on Monday but was a late scratch, and though Cousins did not accompany the team for its tilt against the Jazz, both players have a shot at playing against Memphis. "I think it's a realistic possibility," coach Michael Malone told The Sacramento Bee, "but we'll have a better idea as we get closer to that time."
TV: 10 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Memphis), CSN California (Sacramento)
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (23-20): Memphis is 13-5 since falling to five games under .500 in a road loss to the Mavericks on Dec. 18 and Tuesday's win moved the Grizzlies to within 1 1/2 games of Dallas, which currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Memphis' recent push has come largely without the services of guard Tony Allen, who missed his 11th straight game with a sprained wrist. Allen's return, which could come as early as Wednesday, would give the Grizzlies five active players averaging 10 or more points.
ABOUT THE KINGS (15-29): Sacramento has missed upwards of 42 points per game in the absence of Cousins and Gay, who were each injured in last Wednesday's loss in Houston. The Kings have had three different players — Jason Thompson (19), Isaiah Thomas (22) and Marcus Thornton (42) — lead the team in scoring in the three losses without its dynamic duo, actually managing to best its season scoring average of 102.2 by nearly seven points in the span. Thornton's scoring output in an overtime loss to Indiana on Friday matched his career-high.
1. Memphis has won six consecutive games against the Kings, including three straight in Sacramento, and is 15-5 in the last 20 meetings between the two teams.
2. Thomas shot 0-for-2 from 3-point range on Monday, ending his streak of 37 consecutive games with at least one make from beyond the arc — the second-longest run in franchise history behind G Mitch Richmond's 39 in a row.
3. Randolph ranks eighth among active players with 384 career double-doubles.
PREDICTION: Grizzlies 100, Kings 99