NBA Basketball

Hornets playing for postseason, Grizzlies for pride

The Charlotte Hornets are coming off a lopsided loss at Indiana. The Memphis Grizzlies are simply coming off a lot of losses of all varieties.

Memphis has lost six in a row, 12 of 13 and 17 of 20 heading into Wednesday's home game against the Hornets.

There are no easy answers for the Grizzlies, who, at 19-28, have slid to the second-worst record in the Western Conference, ahead of only the Phoenix Suns.

"Man, it's really embarrassing," Memphis guard Mike Conley said after Monday's 105-85 home loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, who were playing without injured star Anthony Davis.

"And nobody's going to come and save us. We have nobody coming in the door tomorrow that's going to change what we're doing. We've got guys down. We've got eight, nine, 10 guys that can suit up. We need everybody to find it in themselves to get us out of this thing."

Injuries have been one of the themes for Memphis, although Marc Gasol did return Monday from a one-game absence because of back soreness to lead the team with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Gasol has been one of the players mentioned in trade rumors as the Feb. 7 deadline approaches.

There just hasn't been enough offense in Memphis, which, after Monday's games, was the lowest-scoring team in the NBA, averaging 100.6 points per game. The Grizzlies have failed to score more than 101 points 10 times in the past 12 games.

The Hornets began a three-game road trip Sunday, when Indiana used its stingy defense to end Charlotte's three-game winning streak, 120-95.

"I thought our guys were battling defensively. (Indiana) is a very physical team. They move the ball and made shots tonight," Hornets coach James Borrego said on NBA.com. "Give them credit. ... They shot the ball well tonight. We did not."

Charlotte will have a bit more urgency than Memphis, as the Hornets will enter the game in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Kemba Walker has scored at least 20 points in each of his past five games, including a team-high 23 against the Pacers. He is averaging 25.0 points and 5.6 assists per game. Jeremy Lamb is next at 15.1 points per game.

"We've been playing really well," Hornets forward Marvin Williams said after the loss to Indiana. "So it's not anything to go in the tank about."

The Hornets recalled rookie guard Devonte' Graham from their G League affiliate on Tuesday. Graham has averaged 4.2 points and 2.2 assists in 26 games with the Hornets.

This will be the second game on a five-game homestand for Memphis, trying to pull out of its nosedive.

"It's about our confidence," Conley said.

"It's about guys understanding that we can win the game, regardless of runs. Being down nine, 10 points in games -- we used to fight through that. Right now, we kind of hold our head and feel like the game is over once they make two 3s in a row or we turn the ball over."

This is the first of two meetings this season between the Grizzlies and Hornets. They also will play Feb. 1 in Charlotte.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 22, 2019

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