Grizzlies, Rockets Look To Make Up GroundBy Alex H.
With the Southwest Division-leading San Antonio Spurs idle for a third straight day, Memphis and Houston will look to make up ground in the division, while also bolstering their respective playoff chances.
The Grizzlies entertain Phoenix (8:00 PM ET), while Houston welcomes the tough-to-beat Golden State Warriors (8:00 PM ET).
A win for either side may not take a huge bite out of San Antonio’s 6.5-game lead in the division, but both teams will know that the Spurs could be vulnerable following the news that All-Star forward Tim Duncan is listed as day to day with a knee injury sustained in a game against Washington on Saturday.
At this stage of the season, it’s all about taking any advantage you can get.
Phoenix Suns at Memphis Grizzlies
Friday saw Memphis (30-16, 18-7 home) secure its first victory since trading Rudy Gay to Toronto early last week.
Whilst an 85-76 win over Washington might not have been worth writing home about, the victory was an important one for a side now looking to remold as a team. The victory was also vintage Memphis; low scoring and very deliberate.
The Grizzlies will look to achieve the same result against Phoenix (16-32, 4-20 road). Two losses in a row, and four from the last five, has the Suns propping up the Pacific Division, finding themselves just one game ahead of New Orleans, the worst team in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies may be playing on towards the postseason, but the Suns are merely trying to keep things respectable.
Memphis and Phoenix have met three times this season.
On Dec. 4, Memphis defeated Phoenix 108-98 in overtime at FedExForum. That score resulted in a push against the spread and the total (196.5) going over.
On Dec. 12, Phoenix scored a home win over the Grizzlies, taking the game 82-80. The underdog Suns (+5.5) covered the spread that evening, while the total (196) went under.
On Jan. 6, Memphis took a road win against the Suns, with the final score reading 92-81. Memphis (-5) covered the spread while the total (187.5) went under.
Memphis opened as the favorite, with the spread at nine points. The Grizzlies are 27-18-1 ATS this season, including 27-18-1 at home and 22-13-1 as the favorite. Phoenix is 19-27-2 ATS all told, with a 10-12-2 record at home and a 13-18-2 record as underdog.
The total stands at 183. Both teams favor the under with Memphis compiling a 17-28-1 record while Phoenix is 21-26-1.
Memphis travels to Atlanta for the second game of a back-to-back on Wednesday (7:30 PM ET).
Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets
Houston (26-23, 16-8 home) rebounded from last Wednesday’s 118-110 loss to Denver with a win over the hapless Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday. The 109-95 victory marked a fourth win in five games for the Rockets. A win over the Warriors on Tuesday night would mark a third straight home win for Kevin McHale’s side.
Golden State (30-17, 14-11 road) recorded a fourth straight win on Saturday, defeating Phoenix by a score of 113-93. The Warriors have now won seven of nine games. They’ve also won two road games in a row.
The recent return of center Andrew Bogut adds another dimension to a Golden State side that has been a pleasant surprise this season. Houston will hope that Bogut doesn’t prove to be a difference maker when the Warriors visit the Toyota Center.
Tuesday night’s game marks the first of four meetings between Houston and Golden State. The two sides will meet again next Tuesday (Feb. 12) in Oakland, on Mar. 8 in Oakland, and on Mar. 17 in Houston.
Houston opened as the favorite, with the spread at 2.5 points. The Rockers have compiled a 25-23-1 ATS record this season, which includes a 15-9-0 record at home and a 14-11-0 record as favorite. Golden State has a superior record, having gone 27-18-2 ATS, a record that consists of a 14-9-2 record on the road and a 15-10-2 tally when considered an underdog.
The total opened at 216.5. Houston is 26-23-0 in favor of the over, while Golden State is 29-18-0, also in favor of the over.
After Tuesday night’s game against Golden State, Houston will make the journey to Miami to take on the Heat on Wednesday night (7:30 PM ET).