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Preview: Hornets host Ja Morant and the Grizzlies

The Grizzlies have a chance to climb to the top seed in the West with a win.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Charlotte Hornets Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

What: Charlotte Hornets (10-28) vs Memphis Grizzlies (23-13)

When: 7:00pm EST

Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC

How to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass

Outfitting: Hornets—Association (white), Grizzlies—City (black)

The Hornets are coming off a hard fought loss to the Lakers in which their two star guards caught fire in the fourth quarter. The 39 points didn’t lead to a win, but it was a welcome sight for a team that has been plagued by bad offense and poor shooting all season long. That doesn’t figure to change tonight. The Grizzlies will go into the game with the second best defensive rating in the league. They contest shots as well as anyone and are top 10 in both steals (9th) and blocks (2nd) per game.

Ja Morant and Desmond Bane make most of the headlines. Morant is one of the league’s brightest superstars averaging 27.2 points and 8.0 assists per game. Bane is having a breakout season and is angling for his first All Star appearance with 21.8 points per game on high volume 3-point shooting. Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. provide some defensive punch to go with their complementary offensive roles, and the rest of the roster is filled out with useful role players.

But perhaps the scariest player from the Hornets perspective is Steven Adams. In the last meeting between these two teams, he gobbled up 11 offensive rebounds. The game was well into the second quarter before the Hornets as a team were able to outrebound Adams the individual. It was part of a grotesque showing that ended with a 31-point Grizzlies win.

The Hornets may get some reinforcements tonight. With Kelly Oubre and Gordon Hayward out of the lineup, Cody Martin has been upgraded to questionable. We’ll await word on his official status as we get closer to game time.