The Memphis Grizzlies emerged from their holiday break by snapping a three-game losing streak. The Toronto Raptors hope to come back from their Christmas layoff by avoiding one.
That may be a difficult task Monday night in Memphis, where the Raptors have lost in six of their last seven visits.
The Grizzlies (13-17) had plenty of time to think about Tuesday's surprising 101-94 home loss to New Jersey, their third consecutive defeat before four days off.
They responded Sunday night with a 104-90 win at Indiana. After allowing opponents to shoot 50.6 percent during the skid, Memphis held the Pacers to 35.6 percent.
A resurgence from Rudy Gay also helped. The forward had gone 4 of 16 from the field against the Nets after he was suspended for the previous game following a flagrant foul, but he scored 30 points Sunday for the first time since doing it three times in the season's first seven games.
"We have to have something to build on, and (Sunday) was something we could build on," Gay said. "We got good shots and got our big men involved. It was one of those games where we can look back on it and say this is the blueprint."
Zach Randolph had 18 points and 16 rebounds for his third straight double-double and 18th this season - fifth-most in the NBA and more than Toronto's entire team.
Randolph averaged 27.0 points during Memphis' two-game sweep of the Raptors last season. The Grizzlies have won three straight and 11 of 15 versus Toronto, which is 2-7 in Memphis since the Grizzlies moved from Vancouver.
The Raptors (10-19) hope some time off will help them avoid a third consecutive loss. They've been dealing with injuries to two of their most important players, with Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon both missing time this month.
Bargnani returned to the lineup Wednesday against Detroit after missing two of the previous three games due to a sore right ankle, but was 6 of 17 from the field with two rebounds in a 115-93 home loss. He's averaging 10.5 points while shooting 26.0 percent in four career visits to Memphis.
Calderon has averaged 13.0 assists in three games since returning from a foot problem, but despite notching 13 against the Pistons, he was held to five points, shot 1 of 6 and posted a career high with eight turnovers.
"Our best players have been banged up a little bit, Jose and Andrea, and they both had horrible games," coach Jay Triano said.
Leandro Barbosa was a bright spot Wednesday, scoring a team-high 21 points off the bench. The guard has topped 20 four times in his last seven games after doing so once in his first 16 contests with Toronto.
Linas Kleiza, who has battled a sore Achilles' tendon lately, contributed 19 points against Detroit and is averaging 21.0 while starting the Raptors' last three games.
The Associated Press News Service
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