National Basketball Association
Dallas at Memphis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
There is a lot at stake for both Dallas and Memphis when the Mavericks visit the Grizzlies in Wednesday’s regular-season finale. Both squads badly crave a victory, not just because it would equate to a 50-win season but also because the winner claims the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and will avoid top-seeded San Antonio in the opening round of the playoffs. The Grizzlies have won four straight games and clinched their postseason spot with Monday’s victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Memphis is seeking its 14th consecutive home win while Dallas is attempting to record its seventh straight road victory. The Grizzlies are also hoping to salvage the finale of this season’s four meetings with the Mavericks. Dallas also clinched its playoff spot by beating the Suns – which occurred when it recovered from a 13-point deficit to post a 101-98 victory on Saturday. Memphis point guard Mike Conley tweaked a hamstring in Monday’s victory and his availability will be determined on Wednesday.TV:
8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Southwest (Dallas), SportSouth (Memphis) ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (49-32):
Guard Monta Ellis matched his season high of 37 points in the win over the Suns and is averaging 25 points over the past four games. Ellis was named Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday and is averaging 19 points on the season. Though he averaged over 20 points four different seasons while with the Golden State Warriors, Ellis told reporters his first season with the Mavericks has been the most enjoyable season of his nine-year career. “I had to grow up and accept some of the things that were going on around me that I can control,” said Ellis, “which is my attitude – be more positive and put myself around positive people.”ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (49-32):
Power forward Zach Randolph (32 points) and backup small forward Mike Miller (21 points) both came up big with season-high point totals in the win over the Suns as Memphis clinched its playoff spot. The Grizzlies were four games under .500 in early January and struggling without injured center Marc Gasol but went 34-13 since the low point and are rolling as the postseason arrives. “This is a culmination of not just this week or not just March or April, this is a culmination of everything we’ve been through since December,” coach Dave Joerger said. “For these guys, it’s a happy locker room and just a bunch of very proud guys with great chemistry.”BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Mavericks’ three victories this season are by an average of 13.3 points and comes after Memphis won four of the previous five meetings.
2. Miller is averaging 17.7 points on 21-of-29 shooting (including 11-of-14 from 3-point range) over the past three games.
3. Dallas F Dirk Nowitzki injured his ankle in Saturday’s victory and could see less action than usual in the regular-season finale.PREDICTION:
Grizzlies 101, Mavericks 99
Stats and Records