The Memphis Grizzlies are headed to the postseason for a second straight year and will play their final road game of the regular season tonight against the moribund Charlotte Bobcats.
Memphis has won two in a row and 12 of its last 16 games, including Wednesday's 103-91 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Rudy Gay had 26 points, five rebounds and two blocks, while Mike Conley added 20 points and five assists for the Grizzlies, who are the fifth seed in the West -- 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers.
"I think I'm the only one that's really excited or feeling a little emotional," Gay said of Memphis clinching a playoff berth. "I didn't get to play (in the playoffs) at all last year. It was good to be there and experience it, but I might as well have bought a ticket."
O.J. Mayo and Zach Randolph scored 15 and 10 points, respectively. Memphis will try to work on its 14-18 road record and will close out the season with three straight home games versus Portland, Cleveland and Orlando.
Charlotte will resume its five-game homestand tonight and is mired in a franchise-worst 18-game losing streak -- the NBA's worst since Cleveland dropped 26 in a row from Dec. 20, 2010-Feb. 9, 2011.
The Bobcats are coming off Wednesday's 100-68 loss to the Chicago Bulls in which Kemba Walker ended with 16 points and Derrick Brown and Gerald Henderson netted 14 and 13 points, respectively.
"When the shots aren't falling it just brings you down," Bobcats head coach Paul Silas said.
Charlotte is winless in its last 11 home games and sports a lowly 4-26 mark at Time Warner Cable Arena this season. The Bobcats' last win was on March 17 versus Toronto in the Tar Heel State and they are assured of having the worst record (7-54) in the league at season's end.
If Charlotte fails to win any of its remaining games it will finish with a .106 winning percentage, which would be worse than the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished 9-73 for a winning percentage of .110.
On the injury front for the Bobcats, guard D.J. Augustin (knee) and forward Reggie Williams (concussion) are both doubtful for Friday.
Charlotte and Memphis are meeting for the only time this season and split a pair of contests in 2010-11. Charlotte has won six of the last eight matchups with the Grizzlies, losers in four straight at the Bobcats.