As the injuries mount, the mettle of the Memphis Grizzlies continues to be challenged.
With backup point guard Mario Chalmers the latest contributor to go down, it's uncertain who of the banged-up Grizzlies will be available Friday night as they try to sweep the season series from the visiting New Orleans Pelicans.
While starter Mike Conley missed his second straight game with a sore foot, Chalmers exited in the third quarter of Wednesday's 116-96 loss at Boston with a foot injury. Chalmers, who averaged 14.5 points over a six-game stretch prior to Wednesday, left the locker room in a wheelchair and is expected to undergo an MRI on Thursday.
"Obviously to see another fallen soldier go down due to injury, it deflates you, takes a lot out of you," Memphis veteran Tony Allen said.
Though the Grizzlies (38-26) have a firm grasp on the fifth spot in the Western Conference, it's unknown who will be healthy when the playoffs begin next month.
Conley and forward Chris Andersen (shoulder), who also missed the past two games, are expected to be re-evaluated before their status for this contest is determined. It's also unknown if starter Zach Randolph (knee) will miss a third consecutive game. The Grizzlies already lost star Marc Gasol (broken foot) for the season, continue to play without backup Brandan Wright (knee) and could be minus Chalmers for some time.
"When it rains it pours," said Memphis' Matt Barnes, who had 12 points against Boston after missing Monday's 106-103 win at Cleveland with a hamstring issue.
Without a true point guard for most of the second half Wednesday, the Grizzlies shot 35 percent and committed nine turnovers while being outscored 64-41. They've dropped two of three and the only time they've lost two in a row over the last 32 games was Feb. 6 and 8.
Second-year forward JaMychal Green posted his second straight double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds Wednesday. Green averaged 5.9 points with 3.9 rebounds in his first 57 games, but 16.7 points in the last three and has pulled down 23 boards in two.
At or close to full strength, Memphis averaged 108 points and shot 51.3 percent to take the first three meetings from New Orleans (24-39). Randolph had 22 points with 12 rebounds and Conley added 17 with 10 assists in a 110-95 win at New Orleans on Feb. 1.
Though the Grizzlies might not have as easy a time if neither play, the Pelicans continue to feel the frustration amid their 1-5 stretch.
Anthony Davis had 40 points with 13 rebounds and Jrue Holiday scored a career-high 38 Wednesday as the Hornets rallied from 17 down before falling 122-113 at Charlotte.
"The effort was there," said coach Alvin Gentry, whose team has allowed an average of 110.5 points in the last 11 games. "We've just got to do a better job defensively."
Davis has averaged 33.3 points in three games and 11.8 boards in the last four. He hasn't scored more than 23 against the Grizzlies this season.
Holiday averaged 26.7 points with 7.7 assists in the last three, and went 22 of 41 from the field in the last two. He scored 23 in the 101-99 loss at Memphis on Jan. 18, then was held to four points on 1-of-14 shooting in the February matchup.