Game On: Grizzlies @ Hornets

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Published: March 3, 2010

Darren Collison vs. Marc GasolThings are a little bleak for the Hornets heading into tonight’s showdown with the visiting Memphis Grizzlies. New Orleans has lost four of its last five, falling four games behind the Blazers for the last playoff spot in the West. John Hollinger’s machinery is giving the Bees less than a five percent chance of making the postseason, and they play seven of nine on the road starting Friday.

The Grizzlies have similar troubles. At 30-30, they’re just a half game behind the Hornets in the standings, but have lost 11 of their last 16. Their only recent success has come on the road, where they’ve won four straight (Raptors, Nets, Wizards, Knicks).

The Hornets will be glad to get Darius Songaila back from injury tonight, since the Grizzlies are tough inside: Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol combine to average about 36 points and 21 rebounds per game. The Grizzlies are also second in the NBA in rebound rate.

The Hornets lead the season series 2-0, having beat the Grizzlies twice by narrow margins in January. In the first game, James Posey was the hero after dropping the winning layup with one second left. Second time around, Darren Collison dished a franchise rookie record 18 assists and came up big in overtime to seal the deal. You can bet the Grizzlies haven’t forgotten those heartbreakers.

Memphis will be without Ronnie Brewer tonight. Due to a hamstring injury, he’s played just 12 minutes for the Grizzlies since coming over from Utah at the trade deadline.

Game tips at 7 Central.

Numbers:

Pace: Grizzlies 95.6 (12th), Hornets 94.6 (19th)
Offensive Efficiency: Grizzlies 104.8 (12th), Hornets 104.5 (13th)
Defensive Efficiency: Grizzlies 107.1 (23rd), Hornets 105.7 (19th)

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(Many thanks to Dariusz for today’s banner featuring Marcus Thornton. Be sure to check out more of Dariusz’s designs in our Wallpapers vault.)

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