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Charlotte at Memphis

Venue: FedExForum

The Memphis Grizzlies had hoped rookie Hasheem Thabeet would be able to contribute down the stretch. He'll get his chance, but it will be in the Development League.

Without the second overall pick in last year's draft, the Grizzlies look to end a five-game home losing streak in a matchup with the struggling Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night.

Memphis (29-28) has won three of five after losing five straight. With 25 games remaining, the Grizzlies are one of three teams trying to catch Portland for eighth place in the Western Conference.

In a move that shows just how serious it is about ending a three-year playoff drought, Memphis assigned Thabeet to the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League on Thursday, giving him valuable playing time while allocating minutes to players it feels can be more productive. The 7-foot-3 Thabeet had fallen out of the Grizzlies' rotation, with Hamed Haddadi emerging as Marc Gasol's primary backup.

Thabeet averaged 2.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 50 games.

With its rotation settled, Memphis hopes it will have on less distractions as it makes a playoff push. The Grizzlies, though, won't have a chance if they continue to falter at home. They are averaging 91.4 points during a five-game skid there, nearly 11 below their season average.

Memphis bounced back from a tough 99-98 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night with a 99-94 victory at Washington the following evening to help regain some confidence.

"It's coming back," Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph said. "It's not there yet. We've got to keep working."

Memphis avoided falling below the .500 mark and is 3 1/2 games behind Portland for eighth.

"It starts now," forward Rudy Gay said. "We can't sit around and wait. We have to load these wins up because we went through a tough patch."

Charlotte (27-29) is on the fringe of playoff position in the East, but it has been losing momentum. The Bobcats are 0-3 on a four-game trip and 7-22 overall on the road.

Charlotte shot 41.2 percent in a 102-93 loss to Utah on Wednesday night.

A lack of depth in the frontcourt hasn't helped. The Bobcats have been without Tyson Chandler (left foot) the last four games while Nazr Mohammed (back spasms) has sat out two straight.

Both players will be game-time decisions. Their presence in the paint would help against Gasol, who is averaging 14.9 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

Charlotte, though, has been getting strong production from 6-10 forward Tyrus Thomas since he was acquired in a trade with Chicago on Feb. 18. He's averaging 12.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 1.5 steals in four games with the Bobcats.

Thomas had 20 points versus the Jazz and is shooting 59.0 percent over his last 10 games. Thomas, though, is averaging 3.7 points and shooting 28.6 percent in six games against the Grizzlies.

Charlotte beat Memphis 89-87 on Jan. 9, the teams' first matchup of the season. Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace leaped over Randolph, caught an air ball and dropped it in as time expired.

Wallace leads the Bobcats with 19.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per contest.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Game Odds
Charlotte 3.5 Memphis -3.5
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Charlotte1st Southeast 101.00001-0Won 1
Memphis1st Southwest 101.00001-0Won 1

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Key Players
, SF
41.0 Min. Per Game 37.7 Zach<br>Randolph
, PF
18.2 Pts. Per Game 20.8
2.1 Ast. Per Game 1.8
10.0 Reb. Per Game 11.7
48.4 Field Goal % 48.8
37.1 Three Point % 28.8
77.6 Free Throw % 77.8
Team Rankings
Charlotte Bobcats2374.38
Memphis Grizzlies793.12
Series Game Log
Oct 29 @ New York 
Apr 7Memphis 
Other Games
NY 118 Final
Wash 116
Cle 126 Final
Tor 118
Dal 111 Final
Atl 103
Port 111 Final
Chi 115
Min 92 Final
OKC 109
SA 104 Final
Hou 109
Det 102 Final
Den 107
LAC 112 Final
Pho 125
Orl 93 Final
NO 100
Utah 99 Final
Sac 103
Phi 90 Final
LAL 99