Published May 02, 2016
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies will continue their quest for the Southwest Division title Friday night when the Oklahoma City Thunder pay a visit to FedExForum.
The Grizzlies trail the Houston Rockets by a half-game for the Southwest Division lead, but also for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
The Thunder's margin for the eighth and final playoff spot out west is down to 1 1/2 games over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Grizzlies stopped a three-game losing streak on Monday thanks to a 97-83 home victory over the Sacramento Kings. Their four-game homestand continues Saturday versus the Washington Wizards and ends with the Pelicans on Wednesday.
Mike Conley scored 18 points to lead Memphis, followed by Jeff Green, who added 16 points and Zach Randolph, who had 15.
"Good win, guys played hard ... That ball was moving," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said.
Memphis never trailed and began to pull away early in the second quarter, putting forth a 17-3 run that turned a two-point edge into a 41-25 lead just over five minutes into the period. Randolph began the stretch with back-to- back baskets and the Grizzlies knocked down three shots from beyond the arc during the tear.
The Grizzlies maintained a double-digit cushion for nearly the entire remainder of the game, taking a 56-43 advantage into halftime by countering every surge the Kings made.
Tony Allen has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain, but he is listed as questionable for Friday's contest.
The Thunder have lost three of their last four and the Pelicans are inching closer.
On Wednesday, OKC fell at home to the Dallas Mavericks, 135-131.
Russell Westbrook, Enes Kanter and Anthony Morrow did all they could in the setback.
Westbrook secured his 10th triple-double of the season with 31 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, while Kanter poured in a career-high 30 points with 16 rebounds. Morrow fired in six 3-pointers en route to a season-high 32 points off the bench.
"It was a tough loss. We didn't get enough stops. We scored plenty of points to get the win on our home floor," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
The Thunder regained the lead thanks to a 12-4 run that Morrow capped with a contested 3-pointer with 3:09 left in the game. He was fouled on the play, but a lane violation negated a four-point opportunity as Oklahoma City held a 124-121 edge.
Dallas' Chandler Parsons converted a three-point play before making a layup that helped the Mavs to a 130-129 lead with 90 seconds left. It remained a one-point game when Parsons hit a tough turnaround jumper with 13 seconds left, then Westbrook got two looks at a 3-pointer after he hustled down his own rebound from the first miss, but his second attempt was off the mark. Monta Ellis sealed the victory from the line in the final seconds.
The Grizzlies took two of three meetings with OKC this season, including the only matchup in Memphis on Jan. 31.