(Sports Network) - Clinching a postseason spot without having to do any workhas to be relieving. That's what just happened to the Memphis Grizzlies, wholook to build on their playoff status Monday against the Washington Wizards.
After the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Utah Jazz Sunday night, the Grizzlieswere guaranteed their third straight postseason appearance. Out of actionsince Saturday's 110-106 victory over the Boston Celtics, Memphis reserveJerryd Bayless led seven players in double digits with 30 points. Bayless isaveraging 20.2 ppg in his last five games.
"I thought that (Bayless) gave us a huge lift," Memphis coach Lionel Hollinssaid. "I mean, it was early on, and I didn't know how we were going to score.(Bayless) came in and started making shots and got on a roll and carried us inthe first half."
Darrell Arthur finished with 18 points and Zach Randolph chipped in 15 and 11rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have won 10 straight at home and 17 of 21overall. Randolph came off the bench Saturday after he was late to a pregameshootaround. Marc Gasol (abdominal tear) is still out indefinitely.
Tayshaun Prince and Mike Conley both had 12 points, Ed Davis netted 11 andTony Allen added 10 and 10 rebounds for Memphis. Conley represents whatMemphis is all about on defense and is second in the NBA with 2.3 steals pergame.
With a 14-4 record since the All-Star break and a 21-0 mark when scoring atleast 100 points, the Grizzlies can set a franchise record for road wins in aseason with a victory over the Wizards. The Grizzlies, who sit first inteam defense at 89.5 ppg, are 19-14 on the road and have never finished aseason with a winning mark as the visitor. They're currently embroiled in athree-game road slide and slated to visit New York on Wednesday.
Memphis can also alter the course of its postseason path as the season windsdown and is one game behind Denver for the third spot in the West and justone-half game behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth seed.
The Wizards just went 2-2 on a recent road trip and had won two straight andfive of six games until a 101-92 setback against the Golden State Warriors onSaturday night.
Cartier Martin had a career-high 23 points and John Wall was ejected in thethird quarter after receiving his second technical foul, finishing with 14points. Wall was involved in an altercation with Golden State's Klay Thompsonin the third quarter before getting the heave.
"It's a lesson," Wizards coach Randy Wittman told NBA.com. "When you get anearly technical, you can't get into anything talking on the floor."
Wall, though, is recording averages of 22.3 points, 9.5 assists, 4.6 reboundsand 2.1 steals in his last eight games.
Washington is back in the nation's capital, where it has won five in a row andowns an 18-17 mark. In injury news for the Wizards, guard Trevor Ariza (flu)is questionable versus the Grizzlies and rookie guard Bradley Beal (sprainedleft ankle) is doubtful. Beal has missed two straight and eight of 11 games.
The Wizards dropped an 85-76 road decision to Memphis on Feb. 1 and have lostthree straight, seven of eight and 11 of the last 14 meetings between theteams.