Published November 09, 2012
| Sports Network
It's a battle in the Southwest Division Friday night when the Houston Rockets visit the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.
The Grizzlies haven't been home much in this early part of the 2012-13 campaign. They've played only once in a city with great barbecue and that was a 103-94 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday.
Memphis went to Milwaukee and ended the dreams of an undefeated Bucks' season with a 108-90 win.
The Grizzlies' bench, which has been used somewhat sparingly through the first three games, combined for 40 points, highlighted by 18 from Marreese Speights, which tied for team-high honors.
"We got up on them and then we went to the bench and we kind of blew it out with our bench," said head coach Lionel Hollins. "Our bench attacked their bench, and overall they had 40 points and did a nice job on the glass and nice job defending."
Memphis played more than nine players for the first time all season Wednesday.
Once again, the frontcourt for the Grizzlies was dominant. Against Milwaukee, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay combined for 49 points, 27 rebounds and eight assists. For the season, each member of the trio averages over 16 ppg. and over 6.0 rpg. Gasol even gets 5.8 assists a night.
Randolph in particular has been a beast, especially on the glass. He leads the NBA in rebounding with 15.3 per game and has a staggering 24 offensive rebounds, which is more than any member of the Grizzlies has on the defensive side.
The Rockets, who are both the youngest and least-experienced team in the NBA, dropped two in a row after a 93-87 loss at home to the Denver Nuggets Wednesday.
James Harden, who still leads the NBA in scoring, had his lowest scoring output of the season Wednesday. He only managed 15 points, but turned it over six times.
The Rockets only shot 36.9 percent from the field against Denver, and 24.2 percent from the 3-point line. Houston committed 20 turnovers in a pretty ugly loss.
The Rockets can match up, to some extent, with Memphis' great bigs. Omer Asik is third in the NBA with 14.0 rpg. and he will be tasked with Gasol on Friday night.
"Gasol at that center spot is as good as it gets in our league," said head coach Kevin McHale. "We're going to have our hands full."
Houston has won 10 of the last 13 matchups against the Grizzlies, but Memphis is unbeaten in the last three at home in this series.