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Reply To: NBA • Friday Service Plays • 2/5/16

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Preview: Memphis At New York

When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, February 5, 2016
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

The Memphis Grizzlies are soaring and the New York Knicks are stumbling as the two teams prepare to meet Friday at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Grizzlies have won four straight games and eight of their past nine while the Knicks have lost seven of their last eight contests.

Memphis center Marc Gasol single-handedly destroyed New York with 37 points as the Grizzlies knocked off the Knicks 103-95 on Jan. 16. New York star Carmelo Anthony sat out that contest with an ankle injury but his presence isn’t preventing the Knicks from their current slide that has dropped them 4 1/2 games behind the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New York missed an opportunity to make up ground Thursday when it dug itself a 27-point, second-quarter deficit before succumbing 111-105 to the Pistons. The Grizzlies have been a sizzling offensive team during their nine-game charge, topping 100 points in each game while averaging 105.8.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Memphis), MSG (New York)

ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (29-20): Power forward Zach Randolph had scored 10 or fewer points in four of six games before breaking out with 22 points and 12 rebounds in Monday’s 110-95 victory over New Orleans. Randolph’s season averages of 13.8 points and eight rebounds are sharp dropoffs from last season’s marks of 16.1 and 10.5, respectively, but he was a huge factor against Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. “It never gets old to see him play the way he does. It’s not pretty by any means, but he gets it done,” point guard Mike Conley told reporters. “The way that he can maneuver without being athletic and still get the shots over big fellas and all that stuff, he’s a guy I look up to.”

ABOUT THE KNICKS (23-29): New York is attempting to remain in the playoff mix and that only made the slow start against Detroit more perplexing to coach Derek Fisher. “There’s no explanation for that,” Fisher said afterward. “Our guys just didn’t come to play in the first half, and we dug ourselves the kind of hole where everything has to go right for you to have a chance.” Center Robin Lopez was superb with season bests of 26 points (on 11-of-14 shooting) and 16 rebounds and is averaging 21.5 points and 14.5 rebounds during the past two games.


1. The Grizzlies have won their last five home games against the Knicks.

2. Anthony has posted four straight double-doubles but is just 8-of-34 shooting in the last two games.

3. Memphis SF Matt Barnes (hamstring) is questionable after missing the New Orleans contest.

PREDICTION: Grizzlies 102, Knicks 93