Sports

Grizzlies reach end of trip, battle Wizards in DC

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies look to end their four-game road trip on a positive note when they visit the Washington Wizards Thursday at the Verizon Center.

The Southwest-leading Grizzlies are 1-2 on the trip after Wednesday's 95-92 loss to the Boston Celtics. Marcus Smart's three-point play with 52.2 seconds left put Boston ahead to stay and Avery Bradley added a jump shot to seal it.

Mike Conley scored 20 points, Tony Allen finished with 16 and Zach Randolph added 14 points and eight rebounds in defeat. Marc Gasol was held in check to the tune of nine points and seven boards.

"Man, they don't quit," Conley said of the playoff-hopeful Celtics. "They're a team that fights. They're going to play through every possession."

The Grizzlies outscored the Celtics, 50-36, in the paint and finished with a 41-36 rebounding advantage, but had 21 turnovers.

Memphis is 21-12 on the road and will host Milwaukee and Denver next. It is currently second in the Western Conference standings, 6 1/2 games behind Golden State.

On the injury front for Memphis, Conley is questionable Thursday with a sprained ankle. He is averaging 16.2 ppg this season.

Washington will play three in a row at home versus Memphis, Sacramento and Portland, and has a 22-10 record in DC this season.

The Wizards have rotated wins and losses over the last six games and are coming off a 95-69 demolition of the Charlotte Hornets Monday night. Marcin Gortat scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while John Wall added 15 points, nine assists and three steals for the Wizards, who held the Hornets to 23 points in the second half (9 in 4th quarter).

The Wizards shot 52 percent and snapped a nine-game road losing streak.

"We just needed a win, we needed to play like this and win," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We knew that Charlotte was going to be one of the harder teams. They had won five in a row, and averaging almost 105 points in those wins.

Bradley Beal and Kevin Seraphin scored 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Washington is fifth in the East - two games behind Toronto and two ahead of Milwaukee - and will shoot for a third straight win at home tonight.

Beal (leg) is probable versus the Grizzlies and is posting an average of 14.8 points per game. Beal has been bothered by leg issues this season.

The Wizards and Grizzlies will play the first of two games and are scheduled to meet again April 4 at FedExForum. Memphis took both games against Washington last season and has won nine of the past 11 matchups.