The Grizzlies went 1-3 on their trip east and have lost two in a row and six of their last 10 games. In a lopsided 107-87 loss to the Washington Wizards Thursday at the Verizon Center, the Grizzlies were without Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley, their top three leading scorers.
Conley twisted his right ankle in a loss against the Boston Celtics Wednesday, while Gasol and Randolph were held out to rest. All three are expected to return Saturday night.
JaMychal Green and Jarnell Stokes each scored 13 points for Southwest Division-leading Memphis, which gave up a 17-4 run by the Wizards after the game was knotted at 43-43. The Wizards further extended their advantage with a 19-4 burst in the third, as Drew Gooden's running bank shot finished off the swing for a 79-55 margin at the 5:14 mark.
"We've got some complacency going on. Hopefully we've addressed that," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said.
The Grizzlies haven't lost three in a row since a four-game slide from Dec. 19-26 this season.
Memphis is second in the Western Conference and will welcome the Denver Nuggets to town on this quick homestand. It is 24-7 at home.
Milwaukee hasn't been playing great either as evidenced by eight losses in the past 11 games.
The Bucks opened a three-game road trip with Thursday's 109-103 overtime defeat at the hands of the improving Indiana Pacers. Michael Carter-Williams had his best offensive output since being acquired by the Bucks, scoring 28 points with eight rebounds and four assists.
"Everybody gave everything they had. There's a lot of good stuff on the road against a team that is playing extremely well," Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said.
Ersan Ilyasova had 19 points with 10 rebounds, while Khris Middleton chipped in 18 points and Zaza Pachulia added 16 points and 12 boards for the Bucks, who were outscored, 13-7, in OT and allowed 63 points in the second and third quarters.
Milwaukee is three games behind Washington for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and sits 3 1/2 games ahead of Indiana.
The Bucks will visit New Orleans on Tuesday and are 15-19 on the road. They are winless in the last seven games on the road.
Milwaukee defeated Memphis, 93-92, on Nov. 8 at the Bradley Center and Brandon Knight's three-point play with just 1.1 seconds remaining was the difference. Memphis won both meetings with Milwaukee in 2013-14 and was unbeaten in the previous seven games in this series.
Memphis has beaten Milwaukee three straight times at home.