Two teams heading in different directions square off Tuesday when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Memphis Grizzlies. San Antonio won a season-best five straight games and 13 of its last 16 while the Grizzlies have dropped six straight games and 13 of their past 16.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's next victory will be the 1,222th of his career and it will snap a tie with Jerry Sloan for third place on the all-time list. Popovich tied Sloan on Monday when standout guard DeMar DeRozan recorded 26 points and nine assists to help San Antonio post a 119-107 road win over the Detroit Pistons. Memphis' recent woes continued with Monday's 114-95 road loss to New Orleans as the Pelicans scored an astounding 70 points in the paint. "We have to figure out how to win as a team when things don't go our way," Grizzlies center Marc Gasol told reporters after the loss to the Pelicans. "... I think right now our confidence is really fragile and when something bad happens, especially in the second half, we kind of panic."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (San Antonio), FS Southeast (Memphis) LINE: Spurs -3
ABOUT THE SPURS (24-17): Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting against the Pistons for his sixth 20-point outing in the past seven games. Aldridge is averaging 26.7 points and made 75-of-122 field-goal attempts during the stretch as he and DeRozan continue to mesh. DeRozan is averaging 19.4 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists during the five-game winning streak and registered the first triple-double of his career against the Toronto Raptors - his former club - when he had 21 points, matched his career-high of 14 rebounds and handed out 11 assists on Jan. 3.
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (18-22): Memphis once was 15-9 before the good times evaporated and there has been recent dissension, including a reported physical altercation between veterans Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi. "There are distractions," coach J.B. Bickerstaff told reporters after Monday's loss. "There were some things that happened that did carry some weight with the guys in the locker room. We can't make excuses. There are distractions everywhere. We have to find a way to galvanize in this moment, no matter what the circumstances are." Point guard Mike Conley is playing well through the chaos and had 22 points and 10 assists against New Orleans for his fifth double-double of the campaign.
1. The teams split two games in San Antonio with the Grizzlies winning 104-103 on Nov. 21 and the Spurs prevailing 108-88 last Saturday.
2. San Antonio SF Rudy Gay (wrist) sat out against Detroit and will also miss Wednesday's contest.
3. Memphis rookie PF Jaren Jackson Jr. has scored in double digits in four consecutive games and is averaging 18 points during the stretch.
PREDICTION: Grizzlies 102, Spurs 100 Bet Now
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