(Sports Network) - It's a battle in the Southwest Division Friday night when
the Houston Rockets visit the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.
The Grizzlies haven't been home much in this early part of the 2012-13
campaign. They've played only once in a city with great barbecue and that was
a 103-94 victory over the Utah Jazz on Monday.
Memphis went to Milwaukee and ended the dreams of an undefeated Bucks' season
with a 108-90 win.
The Grizzlies' bench, which has been used somewhat sparingly through the first
three games, combined for 40 points, highlighted by 18 from Marreese Speights,
which tied for team-high honors.
"We got up on them and then we went to the bench and we kind of blew it out
with our bench," said head coach Lionel Hollins. "Our bench attacked their
bench, and overall they had 40 points and did a nice job on the glass and nice
Memphis played more than nine players for the first time all season Wednesday.
Once again, the frontcourt for the Grizzlies was dominant. Against Milwaukee,
Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Rudy Gay combined for 49 points, 27 rebounds and
eight assists. For the season, each member of the trio averages over 16 ppg.
and over 6.0 rpg. Gasol even gets 5.8 assists a night.
Randolph in particular has been a beast, especially on the glass. He leads the
NBA in rebounding with 15.3 per game and has a staggering 24 offensive
rebounds, which is more than any member of the Grizzlies has on the defensive
The Rockets, who are both the youngest and least-experienced team in the NBA,
dropped two in a row after a 93-87 loss at home to the Denver Nuggets
James Harden, who still leads the NBA in scoring, had his lowest scoring
output of the season Wednesday. He only managed 15 points, but turned it over
The Rockets only shot 36.9 percent from the field against Denver, and 24.2
percent from the 3-point line. Houston committed 20 turnovers in a pretty ugly
The Rockets can match up, to some extent, with Memphis' great bigs. Omer Asik
is third in the NBA with 14.0 rpg. and he will be tasked with Gasol on Friday
"Gasol at that center spot is as good as it gets in our league," said head
coach Kevin McHale. "We're going to have our hands full."
Houston has won 10 of the last 13 matchups against the Grizzlies, but Memphis
is unbeaten in the last three at home in this series.
The Sports Network