The Memphis Grizzlies try to extend their lead in the Southwest Division when they take on the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. The opening tip between division rivals is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET at AT&T Center in San Antonio.
The Grizzlies have alternated wins and losses over their last six games, including a 104-91 setback to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday. Memphis is 32-17 and atop the Southwest Division standings, leading the second-place Mavericks by 4½ games.
San Antonio snapped a two-game losing streak with a 134-104 rout of the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. The Spurs improved to 18-30 and are in fourth place in the Southwest, a half-game behind the New Orleans Pelicans.
It hasn’t helped that the Grizzlies have been dealing with a number of injuries of late, but Memphis needs to be more consistent with wins if it wants to challenge for the top spot in the Western Conference. Second-leading scorer Dillon Brooks is out for a couple weeks with a sprained ankle while third-leading scorer Desmond Bane has been sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols and is questionable for Wednesday night.
The Grizzlies do have Ja Morant playing at a high level. The 22-year-old ranks 11th in the NBA in scoring at 25.3 points per game. He’s also 14th in the league with 6.9 assists per game, and he’s averaging 35.3 points and 8.6 assists over the last three games.
Memphis is also trying to get Jaren Jackson Jr. more involved in the offense, as he’s averaged 17.2 points and 7.3 rebounds over the last 10 games. His impact comes more on the defensive end, however, as he’s averaging 3.5 blocks per game over those 10 contests.
The Grizzlies topped the Spurs at home in their first meeting, 118-105 on New Year’s Eve. Morant had 30 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and he should be at the focal point of the Memphis attack again on Wednesday. It is the finale of a four-game road trip for the Grizzlies.
The Spurs were able to bounce back with a big effort on Tuesday night after dropping consecutive games to Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Coach Gregg Popovich was happy with the team’s efforts in topping Houston by 30, including a season-best 82 points in the paint.
“That was a good response to a loss where we started out poorly,” Popovich said after Tuesday’s win. “Tonight, we started off aggressively and played a full 48.”
Guard Dejounte Murray is having an All-Star season, leading the Spurs in scoring (19.3 points per game), assists (9.0) and steals (2.0). In addition, Murray is averaging 8.4 rebounds, and the matchup between he and Morant will be one to watch.
Center Jakob Poeltl makes the Spurs a much better team when he’s playing well. The 26-year-old is averaging 18.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks over the last five games.
Forward Keldon Johnson is second on San Antonio in scoring, averaging 14.9 points and 6.2 rebounds. Johnson has connected on 44.2 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Grizzlies Get Road Win
Memphis is looking like one of the top teams in the Western Conference, even with its depleted lineup. Morant is making a case for MVP consideration, and he should lead the Grizzlies to the road win.
When doing your NBA betting, take Memphis to win and cover on the road.