National Basketball Association
Utah at Memphis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, December 22, 2014
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
It is a mark of a successful franchise when two losses in a row feels like a low a point in the season, and the Memphis Grizzlies are certainly working on a successful campaign. The Grizzlies will try to avoid a third straight setback when they host the Utah Jazz on Monday. The two losses mark a third of Memphis’ total on the season, and both came with an asterisk as Zach Randolph was injured in the loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday and did not make the trip to Cleveland on Sunday.
The Jazz are trying to salvage a split of their six-game road trip after dropping to 2-3 with a 104-86 loss at Charlotte on Saturday. Utah put together back-to-back wins for the first time this season at Miami and Orlando but came up short trying to make it three straight on the second night of a back-to-back. “Road trips and back-to-backs are tough, but we’d better get used to it,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder told reporters. “That’s life in the NBA. We can acknowledge that there’s some fatigue involved, but at the same time we can still come out and play well.”TV:
8 p.m. ET, ROOT (Utah), SportSouth (Memphis)
ABOUT THE JAZZ (8-20):
Utah has dropped 13 of its last 16 games overall and had a string of three straight games scoring at least 100 points come to an end at Charlotte. The Jazz shot 38.8 percent from the field in that loss as the backcourt quartet of Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Dante Exum and Rodney Hood combined to go 10-of-37 from the field. “It’s tough, especially being on a long road trip like this," Exum told the Salt Lake Tribune. "But you just have to keep mentally and physically sharp. You have to keep focus. And then hopefully we play well against Memphis and then you get the reward of going home.”ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (21-6):
Memphis put together two of the best wins of the season on back-to-back nights when it ended Golden State’s 16-game winning streak on Tuesday and outlasted the Spurs in triple overtime at San Antonio on Wednesday. The weekend was not quite as successful, though an MRI on Randolph showed no structural damage and he could return soon. “We are who we are, we play who we have and who’s not here is not here,” Marc Gasol told reporters in refusing to blame Sunday’s loss on injuries. “So I’m not going to make excuses.”BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Grizzlies have taken four straight and seven of eight in the series.
2. Utah F Trevor Booker underwent a minor medical procedure on Sunday and will miss the game.
3. Memphis G Tony Allen (eye) has missed the last three games and remains day-to-day.PREDICTION:
Grizzlies 106, Jazz 97
Stats and Records