Grizzlies vs. Hornets: Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies Start Road Stretch Right

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJanuary 19, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 18:  Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies dunks the ball during the game against the New Orleans Hornets at New Orleans Arena on January 18, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies find themselves in a remarkable position after defeating the New Orleans Hornets 93-87 on Wednesday.

The Grizzlies put themselves in second place in the Southwest Division, two games behind the San Antonio Spurs, with their fourth straight win. That's a great position to start a stretch of six games in seven on the road for the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies had the Hornets in their pocket for most of the game. The Grizzlies led by as many as 14 points in the first half and maintained a double-digit lead for much of the game.

Once again, the Grizzlies had to hold off a late rally after establishing a wide early lead.

The Hornets came back with a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to come within two with 1:28 left, but O.J. Mayo hit a jumper to put the Hornets away.

Gasol put up his fifth straight double-double, throwing down 22 points and 12 rebounds, along with seven assists. Gasol shot a sharp 10-of-14 from the field.

Gasol's shooting, as well as the 18 turnovers the Grizzlies forced the Hornets to commit, was key to sending the Hornets to their fifth straight loss and 11th loss in their last 12 games.

Josh Davis grabbed three steals in a mere 14 minutes for the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies, which are anything but a successful team on the road, play five of their next six games on the road. Next week, the Grizzlies make a four-game road trip in six days out west. The Grizzlies are 2-4 on the road. The Grizzlies average 20 fewer points per game on the road.

The Grizzlies' 104-64 debacle on New Year's Day against the Chicago Bulls occurred in Chicago.

Last season, the Grizzlies fared poorly on the road. They went 16-25, averaging five fewer points per game and shooting more than four percent worse.

Gasol shoots 4.5 percent better at home than on the road on his career.

Hopefully, the Grizzlies came come out successful in their road stretch.

The Grizzlies earned a winning record for the first time this season with the win against the Hornets.

Holding a winning record and winning six of nine games after losing Zach Randolph to injury is impressive, since many people doubted the Grizzlies could hold up without Randolph.

If the Grizzlies come out of the western road trip still holding a winning record, that would be even more impressive.