The Memphis Grizzlies visit Oakland and Oracle Arena to try to handle the Golden State Warriors for the second time this season, live on ESPN at 10:30 PM ET. Here are all the stats to know going into tonight's matchup.
The Grizzlies are already responsible for one of the Warriors' five losses this season. If the Grizzlies win, they would become the first team to beat the Warriors twice in the same regular season since the San Antonio Spurs in 2014-15. In fact, only five teams have beaten the Warriors multiple times in the last three regular seasons combined.
In their previous matchup, the Grizzlies held the Warriors to only 89 points, the only game this season which they haven't scored at least 90 points and one of two games in which they haven't scored 100 points. In that game, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combined to score only 46 points, the lowest combined number that trio -- which averages 71.6 PPG -- has scored in a game in which all three played. Thompson, in particular, has struggled against Memphis. He scored only eight points in his last game against the Grizzlies and has averaged 13.2 PPG against them over the past two seasons.
Durant, conversely, is one of the few Golden State players who plays well against the Grizzlies. He has averaged 27.8 PPG in 29 career games against Memphis. In fact, Durant is tied with Kobe Bryant for most career 30-point games against the Grizzlies with 15.
This game will likely be a showdown of two drastically different styles. The Warriors have the third-highest pace in the league, while the Grizzlies play at the 28th-fastest pace.
Memphis is in the midst of a brutal stretch of its schedule. After losing to the LA Clippers on Wednesday, the Grizzlies have four more matchups with top-six teams in the West coming up, with only one at home. After dropping their last two, they look to avoid their second three-game losing streak of the season. However, it appears their six-season streak of making the playoffs should be safe. That's the second-longest streak in the Western Conference after the Spurs' 19.
The Grizzlies are playing their usual "grit-and-grind" defense under new head coach David Fizdale. They're in the top 10 of several key defensive metrics.
Memphis allows the fewest points in the paint per game (36.5 PPG) and the third-fewest second-chance points (11.5 PPG). The Grizzlies still do all the little things, ranking fourth in the NBA with 17.8 deflections per game and second with 6.7 loose balls recovered per game.
One thing that has changed under Fizdale is offensive philosophy, especially when it comes to 3-pointers. They've moved from the bottom of the league to the middle in 3-point shooting.
One player who has taken that to heart is Marc Gasol. Entering this season, Gasol had made 12-of-66 treys in 569 career games. In 36 games this season, Gasol has made 51-of-124. The downside of Gasol's shift to the outside is that he's averaging a career low in rebounds (6.0 RPG). He's averaging career highs in points (19.7 PPG) and assists (4.3 APG) helping lead Memphis to an 8-4 record in games without Mike Conley.
Gasol is showing off a diverse offensive game. In addition to the 3s, he leads the NBA with 11.1 touches at the elbow per game, averaging 4.6 catch-and-shoot field goals per game and scoring 4.6 PPG as the roll man in pick-and-roll situations.
Back to Conley; he's also averaging a career high in scoring at 18.3 PPG, and the Grizzlies are 9-2 in games in which he scores at least 20 points. He's also shooting more 3s than ever. His 2.3 per game are 0.8 higher than his next-highest 3-point shooting season.
The Grizzlies have gotten it done when it counts. Their 14 wins in games in which the score was within five points with the final five minutes is second only to the Boston Celtics with 15.
Golden State has been on fire since falling on Christmas Day to the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning all four games and averaging 120.3 PPG. That scoring figure should come as no surprise. The Warriors are averaging 117.5 PPG this season, the highest figure in the NBA since 1991-92 "Run-TMC" Warriors team that averaged 118.7.
The Warriors have played exactly 100 home games since the start of the 2013-14 season, winning 94. Only the Chicago Bulls have ever put together a stretch of 100 home games with a better record (95-5).
The Warriors' propensity for 30-assist games has been well documented this season. They have 25; no other team has more than six. Their 31.2 APG are good for second in NBA history behind the 1984-85 "Showtime" Los Angeles Lakers (31.4).
One place in which this year's team has surpassed last year's 73-win team is point differential. This year's squad is on pace to set a record for highest point differential in a season.
After early concerns on the defensive end, the Warriors have become a force on D. It starts with hustle. They lead the league in deflections (19.5 per game) and contested shots (70.8 per game). Draymond Green alone contests 13.9 FG per game, good for fourth in the NBA. Since Thanksgiving, they rank first in several key defensive metrics.
On offense, the Warriors use screens better than any other team, averaging 13.3 screen assists per game. Screen assists are screens that directly lead to a score.
Curry played his most aggressive game of the year on Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers. Fifteen of his 25 shots were created by himself, not off a pass. His 96 touches were 25 more than any other player, and his usage rate was over 10 percent higher than his average coming in.
Durant is averaging 25.8 PPG on 53.8 percent shooting from the floor, 39.2 percent from 3 and 86.8 percent from the free-throw line. If he can get his percentages up to the vaunted 50/40/90, it would give him his second career season of that kind and make him the second player ever to have two 50/40/90 seasons while averaging 25 PPG.
-- Sam Henken