Despite the Memphis Grizzlies’ frontcourt being seriously depleted without All-Stars Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, the Suns lost their second straight embarrassing game to Memphis 120-91.
The game was pretty bizarre for a few reasons.
Everything was all off in this game, Goran Dragic even got a technical.
The effort wasn’t completely there. On the defensive end, the Suns didn’t fight through screens hard enough, didn’t rotate hard enough to the open man and gave up too many easy baskets. On offense, the ball continued to stick.
One big issue really turned the game around.
Phoenix just didn’t make a lot of open shots they usually make, and a bunch of random bench players from the Grizzlies were making baskets from all over the court.
The first half was pretty typical and the Suns would have been up by ten going into halftime, if not for a buzzer-beating jumper by rookie Jamaal Franklin to shrink the deficit to eight. That shot shifted the momentum and was the turning point for the game.
The Suns were outscored by 27 points in second half, finishing with a 19-point loss that is pretty demoralizing.
The only bright spot for the Suns was Marcus Morris, who finished with 18 points in 24 minutes, along with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block, most of which he accumulated in the first half.
Unfortunately for the Suns, other than Dragic’s 16 points, no one else scored more than 11.
Led by veteran point guard Mike Conley’s 18 points and 14 assists with a ridiculously good +29 plus/minus, a couple role players had good nights.
Jon Leuer, the 40th pick in 2011, had himself a career game. The 6-10 power forward tallied 23 points on 10-13 shooting from all over the court, while pulling down nine rebounds and blocking three shots. Ed Davis who came over last year from Toronto in the trade headlined by Rudy Gay, finished with 21 points on 8-11 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds with a couple rebounds. Kosta Koufos had a double-double with 14 points 12 boards and a couple blocks in the victory.
Tuesday night just wasn’t the Suns night. But that’s two straight games, so if Phoenix wants to get on the winning track they need to execute on the fundamentals and crank up the defense, because this squad doesn’t have the luxury like other teams to rest on just talent.
The Suns have a quick turnaround as they travel to Houston for a Wednesday matchup with Dwight Howard, James Harden and the Rockets.