(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies will take their push toward the top seed in the Western Conference to the Big Easy for Saturday's showdown with the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Grizzlies are 4 1/2 games behind the Golden State Warriors in the conference standings and are scheduled to play the next four games on the road. They have stops in Chicago, Boston and Washington on the horizon, and are 20-10 as the visiting team.
Memphis sits 2 1/2 games ahead of the Houston Rockets in the Southwest Division, which currently has New Orleans in the basement. The Pelicans, though, are a game off the final postseason berth in the West and tonight's meeting versus the Grizzlies could be a playoff preview.
The playoffs are a lock for the Grizzlies, who recorded a 97-90 victory Friday over the Los Angeles Lakers and were aided by Zach Randolph's 24 points and 13 rebounds. Marc Gasol scored 18 points and Jeff Green netted 16 in the win. The Grizzlies scored a 30-19 advantage in the fourth quarter and have won three of their last four games.
Los Angeles put a scare into the Grizzlies with a 30-19 second quarter.
"I thought we just held the ball a little too much in the second quarter," said Memphis coach David Joerger. "That's partly a product of me messing with the rotation a little bit and trying some different things."
Memphis, who were just 1-of-11 from 3-point range against the Lakers, is first in opponents' scoring at 95.6 points per game.
Meanwhile, New Orleans has dropped two of three games following a five-game winning streak and suffered a 104-98 loss to the Boston Celtics Friday night in the continuation of a three-game homestand.
MVP candidate Anthony Davis registered 29 points and 14 rebounds in his second game back after missing five straight with a shoulder injury. He also blocked three shots and was coming off a 39-point, 13-rebound effort in Wednesday's 88-85 triumph versus Detroit.
Eric Gordon scored 20 points in the loss for the Pelicans.
"We didn't play our basketball," said New Orleans forward Tyreke Evans, who had 11 points and seven of his team's 18 turnovers. "Part of it was me turning the ball over and not making good decisions. This was a game we needed to win."
The Pelicans are 21-11 at home and will visit Milwaukee and Brooklyn next.
New Orleans and Memphis have split a pair of games this season and will meet again April 8 on Beale Street. New Orleans has won five of the last seven games in this series between division foes.