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- Memphis comes into tonight’s game with the best record in the league at 7-1, and its seven consecutive wins is also the longest current winning streak in the NBA. Their last three victories came against the previously undefeated New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder (defending champions of the Western Conference) and the defending NBA champs, Miami. An eighth consecutive win would also equal the franchise’s mark for a winning streak, which happened in during the 2003-04 season when the team set a franchise record with 50 victories.
- The Grizzlies have forced at least 10 turnovers in 112 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA — more than twice the games of the second-longest active streak (Miami, 52). On the other hand, Charlotte is among the league leaders in fewest turnovers per game this year and have committed, on average, 2.5 turnovers less than their opponents.
- Zach Randolph scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in Friday night’s win, and averages a double-double on the season. He will prove to be quite the challenge against Charlotte’s interior defense Saturday. In 15 career games, the Memphis forward has averaged 20.4 points and 9.7 rebounds — both of which are above his career bests. Randolph is especially adept on the offensive glass and will be a challenge for the Bobcats. “We’ve got to contest the second shot,” Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap said. “We need to build a wall.”
- Charlotte guard Kemba Walker’s offensive output has been a strong indicator of success in the team’s first seven games. Walker, the second-year pro, is averaging 23.8 points on 45.3 percent shooting in victories and 12.7 on 39.5 percent from the field in their losses.
- Forward Hakim Warrick is expected to make his debut with the Bobcats Saturday. Warrick was acquired from the New Orleans Hornets this week in a trade for guard Matt Carroll. The Bobcats like the versatility and athleticism of Warrick and expect him to add depth at both forward positions. In addition to Warrick, the Bobcats expect to have Ben Gordon back on the bench. Gordon missed the last two games due to a family emergency. Charlotte will still be without the services of guard Gerald Henderson as he recovers from a left foot sprain. Coach Mike Dunlap hopes to have Henderson back in uniform sometime during the team’s four-game home stand.
– Derek Smith