The Memphis Grizzlies were able to get back on track last night with a win in Minnesota and will now play four of the last five games of the regular season at home.
The New Orleans Hornets are next on the list of teams with losing records set to face Memphis, which just lost in the Big Easy on Sunday. The Grizzlies have won two of three contests against the Hornets this season and six of nine overall. New Orleans has lost two straight and three of four on Beale Street.
Memphis rebounded from an 88-75 loss on the bayou by handing the Timberwolves a 91-84 setback on Tuesday behind Rudy Gay's 28 points and nine rebounds. Zach Randolph tallied 16 points and 11 boards, while Mike Conley had 16 points and eight assists for the Grizzlies, who have won 11 of 15 games and are seeded fifth in the Western Conference -- two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers and two clear of the Denver Nuggets.
"For us to clinch early it'll be a lot better for us," Gay said of grabbing a postseason spot. "We can start sitting guys early, maybe. It'll be good to have that option."
The Grizzlies are 22-7 at home this season. They will visit Charlotte on Friday before returning home for three games versus Portland, Cleveland and Orlando.
New Orleans is playing out the string and has won four straight and five of six games, including Monday's 75-67 triumph at Charlotte. The loss for the Bobcats was a franchise-record 17th in a row.
Greivis Vasquez had 20 points and Carl Landry contributed 14 points to go with 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who shot 33.8 percent and got 14 points from Carl Landry.
"It was tough at time to watch, especially seeing the ball go in and out and turning the ball over," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said on the team's site. "Those kinds of things happen. They competed out there, even though it didn't look pretty. We still held an NBA team to 67 points. That is something you can hang your hat on."
Williams' squad will play four of five games on the road to close out the season and is 9-20 away from the Big Easy.