Grizzlies oppose a favorite opponent, Pistons

The Memphis Grizzlies will be looking to extend their recent dominance over the Detroit Pistons when the clubs meet for the first time this season on Wednesday night in Tennessee.The Grizzlies have beaten the Pistons in 14 of the past 17 meetings, including 130-117 last April in the most recent head-to-head at Memphis.The Grizzlies were without star guard Mike Conley in both matchups with the Pistons last season, including Memphis’ 104-102 loss at Detroit in February.Conley has returned to lead Memphis back into playoff contention. The Grizzlies flipped the calendar at 18-18, just outside the Western playoff positions but six wins better than a year ago, when they failed to reach the postseason for the first time in eight seasons.The Grizzlies have lost their past two in a row overall against a pair of NBA heavyweights — the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets. They hope to turn things back in a positive direction in a two-game homestand that also includes a visit from the Brooklyn Nets on Friday.One guy who believes he can help end the losing streak is forward Chandler Parsons, who hasn’t played since October because of a knee injury.Parsons would like to return against the Pistons (16-19), he told reporters over the weekend, but that decision is not his.”Look, I’m over here trying to help our team win in any way I can,” he said. “I’m not a distraction. I get along with everybody on the team. I love the coaching staff. I love the medical staff. So it’s just confusing as to why I can’t play and help our team, who is clearly struggling and could use me right now.”The Pistons had an untapped weapon when Luke Kennard never left the bench in Detroit’s 106-95 home win over Washington on Dec. 26.The benching came after Kennard, who missed 16 games earlier in the season with a shoulder injury, struggled in his return to action, scoring three or fewer points in seven of 11 games.

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