GRIZZLIES V PISTONS

Memphis trailed as much as 24 points in their 113-101 defeat to Houston last Monday at Toyota Center. The Grizzlies fell to 18-18 so far in the season, occupying the tenth spot in the Western Conference.

Memphis’ Kyle Anderson only scored 20 points in their Monday game with the Rockets, almost half of what James Harden made that night. Harden scored 43 points with 10 rebounds and 13 assists, securing a Houston home win. It was Harden’s fourth consecutive 40-point game.

Prior to this Memphis defeat, the Grizzlies also lost at home to Boston Celtics in the last Sunday of the previous year. Kyrie Irving made 26 points and 13 assists, with Al Horford contributing 18 points. A pair of 3-pointers in the closing 1:32 also helped the Celtics earn a 112-103 against the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies’ defeat to Boston blocked what could have been a winning streak after they beat the Cavaliers and Lakers.

Last Thursday, Marc Gasol scored 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists, slightly less than Jordan Clarkson’s 24 points. Nevertheless, Memphis won the match 95-87 against Cleveland Cavaliers.

In Christmas Eve, the Grizzlies were also in time for a Christmas gift when they ended a five-game losing streak as they beat the Lakers 107-99 , with Jaren Jackson generating 27 points against LeBron James’ 22.

On the other hand, Detroit is currently suffering in a three-game skid after their 95-106 win over Washington Wizards last week. Pistons’ Blake Griffin made 23 points that night, while Wizards’ John Wall is slightly less at 21. In that game at the Little Caesars Arena, Andre Drummond scored his 10th consecutive double-double.

The Pistons, however, declined in performance in their 88-125 loss to Indiana Pacers last week at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Griffin only made 18 points in that game, while Pacers Domantas Sabonis shot his league-leading 15th consecutive double-double.

Detroit’s last game was also a defeat to Milwaukee Bucks 121-98 at the start of the year.

With the Pistons vulnerable with their latest skid, the Grizzlies are at the edge with their wins over the likes of Cavs and Lakers.

LAKERS V THUNDER

LeBron James has been reported to be resuming some shooting while still recovering from his groin strain injury. Although there has been progress in his situation, LeBron will mostly be absent in the Lakers’ Thursday match against Oklahoma City at Staples.

New year’s eve has been one hell of a good day for the Lakers as they won 114-121 against the Sacramento Kings last Monday. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made 26 points in that match, while the Kings’ De’Aaron Fox made the same number.

The victory was a filler to Los Angeles’ 116-117 loss to Sacramento last Friday night at Golden 1 Center, where Bogdan Bogdanovic shot a 3-pointer at the buzzer, saving the Kings from a seemingly inevitable defeat to the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma made 33 points that night, leading the Lakers to what could have been their win.

Oklahoma City had a similar case when they won 122-102 against the Mavericks at the first day of the year, where Russell Westbrook made 32 points, while Dallas’ Harrison Barnes scored 25 in the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Prior to the win, Oklahoma City lost to Dallas 103-105. Paul George shot 36 points that Monday night at the American Airlines Center, but not enough to match Dennis Smith Jr.’s go-ahead layup in the final minute, complemented by the 25 points made by teenage rookie Luka Doncic throughout the game.

With King James out of the match, Lakers is left handicapped as Thunder’s Paul George and Russell Westbrook still on the go. George has been averaging 26.4 points agame, while Westbrook has 21.0 points per game. The Lakers are then left to Kyle Kuzma and his 18.7 points a game, and Brandon Ingram’s 16.0 points a game.

WIZARDS V HAWKS

The Wizards just ended a three-game skid last Sunday as they won 126-130 over Charlotte Hornets at Capital One Arena. Hornets’ Kemba Walker made a stunning 47 points that Sunday night, but not enough to save Charlotte. Although Trevor Ariza only made 24 points that game, almost half of what Walker generated, Washington still dominated four points.

The losing streak was quite awful for the Wizards. They lost 101-92 to Chicago Bulls last Saturday at home. Prior to that, they lost to Detroit 95-106 last week. Another defeat was also made before, as Washington scored 89 to the Pacers’ 105 at Christmas Eve in Bankers Life. The Wizards already lost twice to Indiana as they fall to a 101-109 defeat earlier in the previous month.

Washington’s upcoming rivals the Hawks are in good form as they only been defeated twice in their last seven games.

Like the Wizards, Atlanta lost twice to the Pacers. First is a 129-121 away defeat last week where Kent Bazemore made 32 points in that Thursday night. The Hawks latest game was also a loss to the Pacers 108-116 at the first day of the year, where John Collins and Victor Oladipo both made 22 points.

The Hawks are, nevertheless, enjoying a three-game winning streak prior to their fall to Indiana. Back in the previous month, they made a 110-118 victory over Washington at State Farm. they also beat the New York Knicks 114-107, where Knicks’ Emmanuel Mudiay made 32 points in that Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The streak was capped by a 98-95 away domination over Detroit.

With John Wall’s appearance on Thursday left questionable, Washington’s position is threatened by Atlanta’s best players such has John Collins and Kent Bazemore.

By @FitsEly

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