Published January 08, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies are still fighting to make it inside the top eight of the Western Conference and will continue a three-game road trip Wednesday against the Brooklyn Nets.
Memphis sits just a half-game out of the eighth spot in the West and opened the trip with Monday's 110-104 victory at Washington. The Grizzlies fended off a fourth-quarter rally by the Wizards and were led by Tayshaun Prince's season-high 21 points and 20 from Mike Conley.
Conley has a career-best 18 20-point games this season.
"We're more concerned with not letting teams get up early on us," said Prince. "We're coming on the road like, 'Let's get in it early and make it happen.'"
Zach Randolph ended with 16 points and 10 rebounds, his 36th double-double of the season, and both Marc Gasol and Mike Miller scored 10 points for the Grizzlies, who shot 54.4 percent and halted Washington's six-game win streak. The Grizzlies led by as many as 19 points in the final stanza before Washington cut the lead down to 106-104.
Conley and Gasol sealed Memphis' seventh win in nine tries from the line.
The Grizzlies are averaging 103.4 points since the All-Star break and have a 16-11 record as the visitor. They will close the trip Friday at Chicago.
Brooklyn will try to go over the .500 mark for the first time this season and has won three straight games, including Monday's 107-98 victory versus the Bulls. Deron Williams led the way with 20 points, Joe Johnson had 19 and both Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston netted 14.
The Nets played tough defense and Chicago was led by D.J. Augustin's 16 points off the bench. The Bulls also committed 28 turnovers, leading to 30 Brooklyn points. The 28 turnovers were the most the Nets have forced in a game since 32 turnovers versus Denver on Jan. 27, 2003.
Brooklyn held the high-powered Bulls to just 80 points and is 12-0 this season when opposing teams fail to reach 90 or more points.
"Defensively, I thought we were at our best," Williams said.
Brooklyn has won five in a row and 11 of 13 games at home and improved to 17-11 at Barclays Center this season. They are 19-8 overall since the start of January and currently occupy the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference.
After hosting the Grizzlies, Brooklyn, which is 8-3 against the West since New Year's Day, will visit Boston Friday night.
Nets veteran center Kevin Garnett has been bothered by a back issue and is questionable Wednesday. Garnett has missed the last two games and is 10 points shy of passing Alex English (25,613) for 14th on the all-time scoring list.
Williams is 24 points shy of 11,000 in his career and did not play in the first meeting of the season with Memphis, a 97-88 triumph for the Nets. Johnson led the way with 26 points in that one for Brooklyn, which halted a three-game slide to the Grizzlies.