memphis grizzlies

Sixers at Grizzlies: Live stream, storylines, game time, more

Sixers at Grizzlies: Live stream, storylines, game time, more

Updated: 5:17 p.m.

The biggest storyline right now with the Sixers is obviously the Jimmy Butler trade.

But before Butler arrives, the shorthanded Sixers have a basketball game to play Saturday night in Memphis.

Butler isn’t expected to make his Sixers debut until Wednesday in Orlando. Until then, we’ll see what the Sixers look like without Dario Saric and Robert Covington, and perhaps start to get a sense of the implications of the trade on Brett Brown’s rotation. With Wilson Chandler still on a minutes restriction and Mike Muscala out with a fractured nose and facial laceration, Jonah Bolden is one player who will likely step into a more significant role. 

Once Butler does join the Sixers, here's how he might fit with the team.

• The Sixers are the only NBA team to win their first seven home games this season. No. 7 was not as easy as it should have been.

After squandering a 21-point third-quarter lead on Friday night, the Sixers clawed out a 133-132 win overtime over the Hornets to move to 8-5. Saturday night, the Sixers are in Memphis to take on the Grizzlies in the first of three straight road games. The Grizzlies are also unbeaten at home (4-0), the only team with that distinction in the Western Conference.

• Tony Allen and Zach Randolph are no longer around, but Memphis is still playing a “grit and grind” style of basketball. It's allowing 100.6 points per game, the fewest in the NBA, and scoring 102.2, second lowest. The Grizzlies play at a 96.0 pace, the slowest in a league that is constantly speeding up and scoring more.

It’s worked well for them so far. After a 22-60 campaign last season, Memphis has started 6-4, led by veterans Mike Conley and Marc Gasol. Jaren Jackson Jr., the No. 4 pick in this year’s draft, looks like he has a bright future. The 19-year-old big man is averaging 12.1 points and 4.8 rebounds, and is coming off a 20-point, seven-rebound performance in the Grizzlies’ 89-97 win over the Nuggets on Wednesday. Expect Joel Embiid to test Jackson’s physicality and ability to defend without fouling — something many opponents have failed at this season.  

• Embiid has attempted 137 free throws, 44 more than any other player this season. His ability to get to the line has been especially important in clutch situations, and is a big reason why the Sixers escaped with a win on Friday (see story).

• The Sixers lost in Memphis last season, 105-101, on an ugly night in which they turned the ball over 24 times, despite a season-high 20 points from the now-departed Timothe Luwawu-Cabarot. In March, the Sixers handled the Grizzlies at home, 119-105, snapping a 10-game losing streak against Memphis.

Below are the essentials for Saturday night’s game. The Sixers are going for their first three-game winning streak of the season.

When: 8 p.m. EST 
Where: FedEX Forum
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia (Pregame Live starts at 7 p.m. EST)
Live stream: and the MyTeams by NBC Sports app 

Jonah Bolden, F, 6-10, 220, No. 43  
Wilson Chandler, F, 6-9/225, No. 22 
Joel Embiid, C, 7-0/260, No. 21 
Markelle Fultz, G, 6-4/200, No. 20 
* Demetrius Jackson, G, 6-1/200, No. 11 
Amir Johnson, F/C, 6-9/240, No. 5 
Furkan Korkmaz, G/F, 6-7/185, No. 30 
T.J. McConnell, G, 6-2/190, No. 12 
* Shake Milton, G, 6-6/205, No. 18 
Mike Muscala, F/C, 6-11/240, No. 31 
JJ Redick, G 6-4/195, No. 17 13
Landry Shamet, G, 6-5/190, No. 23
Ben Simmons, G/F, 6-10/230, No. 25 
Zhaire Smith, G, 6-4/200, No. 8

* Two-way player

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More on the Sixers

Hornets sting Grizzlies to the tune of 61-point win

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Hornets sting Grizzlies to the tune of 61-point win

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 46 points and made 10 3-pointers, and the Charlotte Hornets rolled to the most lopsided victory in franchise history by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 140-79 on Thursday night.

Walker had the ninth 40-point game of his career as the Hornets easily overcame the absence of the suspended Dwight Howard. The All-Star guard hit 13 of 18 shots overall, including 10 of 14 on 3-pointers, and was 10 of 10 on free throws in 28 minutes.

He scored 17 points in the first quarter, 18 in the second quarter and 11 in the third before he was replaced for the final time with 1:48 left in the period.

It came one night after Howard's 32-point, 30-rebound performance that helped Charlotte rally from a 23-point deficit for a 111-105 victory at Brooklyn. But in the process, Howard was whistled for his 16th technical foul of the season, meaning he had to serve a one-game suspension on Thursday night.

It didn't matter as the Hornets roared ahead 12-2 in the first 4 1/2 minutes, were ahead 37-14 after one quarter, 75-42 at halftime and by a game-high 65 points (137-72) with 1:45 left before taking the 61-point win.

Charlotte's largest previous win in franchise history came by 52 points (136-84) at home against Philadelphia on Feb. 27, 1992 (see full recap).

Harden shakes off struggles to give Rockets OT win
HOUSTON -- James Harden scored 21 points, including 10 of Houston's 12 points in overtime, to shake off a tough four quarters and lift the Rockets to a 100-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.

After going 2 of 16 in regulation, including missing a shot that would have won it, Harden warmed up in overtime. He put Houston up with a basket early in the period before making it 93-90 on a three-point play after a basket by Andre Drummond. He added three free throws with about a minute left before P.J. Tucker's tip-in made it 98-90 with 21 seconds to play.

Blake Griffin, who finished with a triple-double, had a 3-pointer after that, but Harden made two more free throws to push the lead to seven. Harden missed both free throws after a 3-pointer by Ish Smith with 4.2 seconds left, but the Rockets held on to extend their winning streak to seven games.

It was an ugly game which featured 71 missed 3-pointers combined. Houston was 12 of 51 and Detroit made just 6 of 38.

Eric Gordon added 22 points for Houston on a night Chris Paul sat out with a sore left hamstring.

Griffin had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Drummond had 17 points and 20 rebounds (see full recap).

Kings beat Hawks amid protests outside arena
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Justin Jackson scored 11 of his season-high 20 points in the third quarter and the Sacramento Kings beat the Atlanta Hawks 105-90 on Thursday night in a game that was delayed due to protesters who were locked arm-in-arm surrounding entrances to Golden1 Center.

Jackson shot 7 of 8 and was perfect on four shots beyond the arc to help the Kings split the season series with the Hawks while avenging their worst loss of the season. Atlanta beat Sacramento 126-80 in November.

Buddy Hield and Frank Mason scored 16 points apiece, while Kosta Koufos added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings.

A massive crowd shut down nearby freeways and gathered in the surrounding streets to protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was in the backyard of his grandparents' house Sunday night. According to reports, Clark was shot 20 times.

Only a few hundred fans made it into the Golden1 Center before police decided to not allow anyone else to enter. Several of those who did get in were allowed to move down into the lower bowl of the arena, leaving the upper deck empty.

With so few fans in attendance, the game often had the look and feel of a high school playoff.

The Kings led most of the way and pulled away in the second half behind Jackson and Hield, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter.

Robert Covington shoveled snow before Sixers' win

Robert Covington shoveled snow before Sixers' win

Did you hire someone to shovel out your driveway in Winter Storm Toby?

Robert Covington didn’t. 

“I shoveled my driveway and the sidewalk and my walkway,” Covington said following the Sixers' 119-105 win over the Grizzlies on Wednesday (see observations). “[It took me] about 20 minutes. It wasn’t that bad because the snow wasn’t really heavy and it wasn’t sticking, so I just kind of, in and out.” 

The thing is, Covington actually likes to shovel snow. It’s a task he grew up doing during the winters in Illinois and one that taught him the value of hard work. He shoveled to help his family and elderly neighbors who needed a hand. 

“The responsibility that my parents instilled in me was, when you’re told to do something, you’ve got to make sure you handle your business and you have to do it at a certain level,” Covington said. 

Covington, who signed a $60 million contract this season, easily could have hired a snow removal service to help him get to the game on time. But there was something he liked about taking care of it.  

“I’ve always done it myself,” Covington said. “It kind of gives you a sense of still working and still doing the simple things. Everybody tells me I could have paid someone to do it, one of the kids in the neighborhood, but it wasn’t about that. It was just something quick. I chose to go out there and do it, knock it out.”

The snow didn't slow down Covington at all. He scored 15 points in less than 23 minutes, shooting an efficient 6 for 9 from the field and 3 for 4 from three. 

So given how well he played following the shoveling, did he stumble upon a new pregame routine?

“No,” Covington said with a laugh. “I won’t continue to do that because I kind of got a little sniffles while I was out there. No, I won’t be out doing that too much because I don’t want to get sick.”