Public Bettors Favor Wizards at Home Over The Grizzlies
Arenas and the Wizards should get a rousing welcome home from the crowd at the Verizon Center as they face the Memphis Grizzlies, owners of the NBA's worst record.
One of the Grizzlies' league-low six wins, however, came in the only meeting this season with Washington (14-12). Arenas was held to a season-worst three points on 1-of-12 shooting in the Wizards' 95-80 defeat at Memphis on Nov. 24.
Arenas has had no such scoring problems lately, averaging 37.7 points over the past 10 games while Washington has gone 8-2.
``He wants to win,'' Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. ``He wants to show he's going to be one of the greatest of all time.''
The sixth-year point guard scored 54 points on Friday as the Wizards ended Phoenix's 15-game winning streak with a 144-139 overtime victory.
That contest ended a four-game road trip, during which Washington went 3-1 while Arenas averaged 41.8 points. The trip began with Arenas scoring a team-record 60 points in a 147-141 overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 17.
``We've shown the world that we can compete with these good teams out here,'' said Arenas, averaging 30.1 points this season to rank third in the league behind Denver's Carmelo Anthony (31.6) and Allen Iverson (30.6).
Washington has lost the last three meetings with Memphis (6-22), but the Grizzlies have lost three straight overall and nine of 10.
Memphis appeared to force overtime in its most recent game when Damon Stoudamire banked a 3-pointer at the end of regulation, but officials ruled it came after the buzzer and the Grizzlies lost 100-97.
``At the end of the day, it's still a loss,'' Grizzlies swingman Mike Miller said. ``We've got to learn how to win games, and that's the bottom line. We're playing good enough to win. We're just not doing it and that's disappointing.''
The loss was Memphis' second in consecutive nights by the same score. It lost 100-97 in overtime to New Orleans on Friday.
The Grizzlies have dropped five consecutive road games and their 2-14 record away from home is the worst in the NBA.
Miller leads the team with 15.5 points per game and had 28 on Saturday, but is looking for more support from Pau Gasol.
The team's top scorer last season at 20.4 points per game, Gasol was held to 12 against Utah after scoring 28 against New Orleans. He's averaging 14.3 points through six games after missing the first 22 of the season with a broken left foot suffered during the world championships over the summer.
The last time he faced Washington, Gasol had 39 points and 10 rebounds in the Grizzlies' 108-98 win on Feb. 27.
He could be in for another big game against a Wizards team that allows a league-high 106.2 points per game.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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