After enduring a tough first half of the season, it looks like the Memphis Grizzlies are back to the form which made them a West contender in 2013. Without the other half of their superstar duo, the Oklahoma City Thunder are proving that indeed they are one of the elite teams in the league.
The Grizzlies visited the Thunder on Monday night in a battle between West’s hottest teams.
Memphis has won six consecutive games— a season-best streak—and has won 11 of its last 12 after spending much of the season below the 0.500 mark. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City has won 10 of its last 11 games—curiously even without star point guard Russell Westbrook in the line-up.
In the last two meetings between these two West rivals on Jan. 14, the Grizzlies took the 90-87 home win behind 24 points and 5 rebounds from Courtney Lee and 23 points plus 13 rebounds from Zach Randolph. Although Memphis gave up 37 points to Kevin Durant, they contained OKC to just 40 per cent (32-of-80 FGs) shooting from the field and 28.6 per cent (4-of-14 3FGs) from behind the arc.
The teams have split their season series with the Thunder taking a blowout 116-110 in November.
The Grizzlies streak can be credited to point guard Mike Conley, considered one of the All-Star “snubs” in this year’s selection. Conley has averaged 18.0 PPG and 6.3 APG in 43 games for Memphis this year but will be missing the game vs. OKC because of an ankle injury.
Sans Conley, back-up PG Nick Calathes stepped up with 22 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in a 99-90 win over the lowly Milwaukee Bucks last Saturday. Randolph scored 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Marc Gasol had 19 points and 6 boards.
The Thunder are coming off a surprising 96-81 loss to the Washington Wizards in their last outing. Durant had 26 points, but the OKC struggled shooting just 39.7 per cent (31-of-78 FGs) as a team
Betting Lines: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Game time: 11:00 am AEDT
Betting Against the Spread (ATS)
Memphis Grizzlies Trends - The Grizzlies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on the road - The Grizzlies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games - The Grizzlies are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games vs. Northwest division teams
Oklahoma City Thunder - The Thunder are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games - The Thunder are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games vs. West teams - The Thunder are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games at home
Watch the Grizzlies vs. Thunder via NBA League Pass.