Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies
- Dallas won 46 of the first 53 games in this series, but the Grizzlies have now won eight of the last 13.
- Dallas trailed by as many as 35 points in its 110-95 loss to Miami on Thursday. It was the second game in which the Mavericks have trailed by 35+ points this season. The only other team to have played two (or more) games in which it has trailed by at least 35 points is the Bobcats (2 games).
- Memphis has held its opponent below 100 points in 22 straight games. That is easily the longest active streak in the NBA (Orlando is next, at 9 straight games).
- O.J. Mayo is averaging 25.2 points per game in wins as opposed to 15.9 ppg in losses this season. That 9.3 ppg differential is the largest in the NBA among players who have participated in at least 50 percent of their team's games (PPG higher in wins).
- Marc Gasol has had at least one blocked shot in 11 straight games. That is tied with Milwaukee's Larry Sanders for the fourth-longest active streak in the NBA.
- Zach Randolph has eight games this season with 10+ points and 15+ rebounds, including in each of his last three contests. Those eight games rank third in the NBA (Anderson Varejao -- 13, Dwight Howard -- 9).
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By JEFF BARTL
(AP) -- O.J. Mayo had an up-and-down four-season tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies as his offensive numbers dipped over the final two.
Though he's seemed rejuvenated as the leading scorer for the Dallas Mavericks, former teammate Tony Allen seems prepared for the challenge of slowing him down.
Mayo makes his return to Memphis looking to help Dallas avoid a fifth loss in six games Friday night against the Grizzlies, winners of three straight.
After averaging only 11.9 points and shooting 40.7 percent over the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons and coming exclusively off the bench in his last with Memphis, Mayo signed a two-year contract with the Mavericks in July.
He's been Dallas' top scoring option with Dirk Nowitzki recovering from knee surgery averaging 20.2 points - including a career high-tying 40 in a win over Houston on Dec. 8 - while starting all 26 games.
Mayo, though, is coming off one of his worst performances for the struggling Mavericks (12-14), going 3 for 14 from the field and finishing with eight points in Thursday's 110-95 loss to Miami.
Dallas, which shot just 38.5 percent and played the first of at least three games without Derek Fisher, has lost four of five and ranks 27th giving up 101.8 points per game.
"They were making tough shots when we weren't, then we had more poor breakdowns as the game went on," coach Rick Carlisle said. "It was very disappointing how we played, but we'll have to forget it quickly because we have another tough one (in Memphis)."
Though Mayo is leading the league hitting 50.0 percent from 3-point range and is having a breakout season so far, his former team is enjoying much more success.
The Grizzlies (17-6) will be seeking a fourth consecutive win after holding Milwaukee to a season low for points in a 90-80 win Wednesday. Zach Randolph recorded his NBA-leading 19th double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds, while Marc Gasol added 12 and 12.
Allen shot only 3 for 11 and scored eight points, but his season-high four steals highlighted a solid defensive effort as he helped hold Bucks high-scoring guard Monta Ellis to 1-of-14 shooting.
Memphis ranks first in the league allowing 89.5 points per game.
"That's where we lay our hat at is on the defensive end," Allen said. "Ever since I got here, that's been our motto, holding it down on the defensive end, playing in and out basketball. Whenever we do that, I think we are more effective."
Mike Conley scored 11 points and handed out six assists Wednesday and said Allen has been a part of the Grizzlies' stingy defense.
"That's a game-changer to have a guy who can do that," Conley said. "To take a guy (like Ellis), who is so good, out of game offensively is unbelievable. As long he can do that, he is able to be a game-changer for us."
Memphis has won four of the last five meetings with Dallas, including a 94-89 victory April 7 despite Mayo going 1 for 8 from the field. Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 25 points in that contest.
Updated December 21, 2012