NBA Basketball
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12:30 PM PT1:30 PM MT2:30 PM CT3:30 PM ET19:30 GMT3:30 12:30 PM MST2:30 PM EST23:30 UAE20:3015:30 ET1:30 PM CTNaN:� , November 4, 2017
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California  Attendance: 14,777

Grizzlies try to avoid lengthy skid vs. Clippers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers

  1. The Clippers are 7-2 in their last nine games against the Grizzlies, including having won the last two meetings.
  2. The Grizzlies are holding opponents to 41.1 percent from the field. Entering this weekend, that was the lowest opponent field-goal percentage in the league. Memphis finished third in the NBA in FG defense last season (.443).
  3. Five of the Clippers' seven games this season have been decided by 16 or more points. Entering this weekend, that was tied for the most such games by any team in 2017-18.
  4. Tyreke Evans had a season-high 32 points on 65.0 percent shooting in Wednesday's loss to the Magic. It was the 15th 30-point game of his career, but his first since he had 34 points against Golden State on December 14, 2014.
  5. This will be the 20th time that Blake Griffin will face Marc Gasol. Griffin leads the head-to-head matchup 11-8, although Griffin (18.2 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 4.0 APG & .465 FG%) and Gasol (16.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 3.8 APG & .487 FG%) have put up similar numbers in these meetings.
  6. Austin Rivers is averaging 15.2 (76/5) points per game and is shooting 53.8 (14/26) percent from three-point range in his five starts this season. He started 29 games in 2016-17, putting up 16.1 PPG on 42.0 percent shooting from behind the arc in those contests.

LOS ANGELES -- A pair of five-win teams in the Western Conference will hook up at Staples Center on Saturday feeling good about early success, while somewhat leery of a recent downward trend.

The Clippers emerged from a two-game skid with a 119-98 victory over the lowly Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, using an inferior opponent to get back to the solid defense and high-percentage shooting that defined them in the early going.

The Grizzlies, though, remain in the midst of their mini skid. They opened the season 5-1, but dropped a 104-99 decision to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday and were upended 101-99 on Wednesday by the Orlando Magic, a setback that caused consternation.

While bowing a double-digit lead to the Magic, the Grizzlies were reportedly bickering amongst themselves during timeouts and still had the chance to win despite the lack of unity. But when Mario Chalmers blew a late-game layup that sealed the defeat, all that angst was allowed to hitch a ride on the plane to Los Angeles.

"Every time there was an issue or a problem, we couldn't solve the problem," coach David Fizdale said, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. "It was a mess. Obviously, connection and communication is something that I stress a lot with these guys. We've got a lot of new faces combining with some old faces that we're trying to blend."

Guard Mike Conley did not play Wednesday because of a left Achilles injury, while center Marc Gasol did play despite left ankle discomfort. And the Grizzlies still almost defeated the Magic.

Conley's Achilles tendon issues date back to the 2015-16 season and soreness also was an issue for him early last season. Gasol's ankle problems surfaced over the summer playing for the Spanish national team.

Conley is expected to be a game-time decision against the Clippers. Guard Wayne Selden is also day-to-day with a quadriceps injury. Ben McLemore (foot) and JaMychal Green (ankle) are at least two weeks from returning, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Clippers starting guard Milos Teodosic remains out with plantar fasciitis, an injury suffered in the team's home opener against the Suns on Oct. 21. Other than that, they will head into Saturday's game healthy.

Making them feel even healthier heading into a tough test against an angry Grizzlies team was the opportunity to put the pieces back together against the Mavericks this week. But the productivity reversal was not immediate after two consecutive defeats.

"It felt like the first five minutes we still had a hangover defensively," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of the Mavericks victory, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We were awful. And then all of a sudden, we clicked in and started getting stops and running. (It was) the first game in three games that we got our pace back. We were running."

The Clippers shot nearly 58 percent from the field in the victory, while holding Dallas to 39.3 percent. But the Grizzlies are one of the NBA's top defensive teams as well, with a new efficient offense that is a far cry from the struggles they showed last year.

Updated November 3, 2017

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