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Preview: Houston At Memphis

When: 8:00 PM ET, Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee

The Memphis Grizzlies overcame a big deficit to topple the Boston Celtics on Sunday and are winners of five of their last seven games as they slowly climb the standings in the West. The Houston Rockets, who visit the Grizzlies on Tuesday, are trying to climb in the West as well and have scratched out three straight wins to move back to .500.

Memphis overcame a 21-point, second-half deficit against Boston by forcing 10 turnovers after the break and locking down on the defensive end. “We came in at halftime and guys looked at film and we just wanted to be better in the second half,” Grizzlies guard Tony Allen told reporters. “We told ourselves collectively that we were going to have to do it on the defensive end.” The Rockets enjoyed a comeback of their own on Sunday, battling back from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to force overtime before turning away Indiana in a 107-103 victory. Houston is learning how to grind out games down the stretch and won three defensive battles in a row against Utah (twice) and the Pacers.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ROOT (Houston), FSN Southeast (Memphis)

ABOUT THE ROCKETS (19-19): Houston surrendered an average of 116.5 points during a four-game slide that bridged December and January but held the last three opponents under 100 points in regulation while making the shots when it counted down the stretch. Trevor Ariza nailed the game-tying 3-pointer on Sunday and Corey Brewer had the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime to help secure the win. Star guard James Harden did not score in overtime but had four of his nine assists in the extra five minutes and nearly ended up with a triple-double with 21 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (21-18): Zach Randolph took a little while to get used to coming off the bench but has found his groove as a reserve and posted 25 points and 13 rebounds in 38 minutes on Sunday. The bruising forward is averaging 21.8 points and 10.8 rebounds in the last four contests, with Memphis grabbing the win in three of those games. “I never wanted to speed up things, I only wanted to get us better defensively, and our focus defensively has gotten much better the last three weeks,” coach Dave Joerger told reporters of the lineup change. “Our defensive efficiency was under one point a possession or per 100 possessions, so that’s positive. Guys are flying around and helping each other.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Grizzlies C Marc Gasol is 15-of-57 from the field in the last four games.

2. Rockets G Ty Lawson will serve the final game of a three-game DUI suspension on Tuesday.

3. Memphis held Houston to an average of 88.5 points in taking the first two meetings this season.

PREDICTION: Grizzlies 98, Rockets 95