Well, it’s a good thing Phoenix doesn’t play Memphis until the second-to-last game of the season. The Suns lose to the Grizz for the third time this season 104-99 causing the Suns to fall to 21-14 on the year.
The Suns started out on fire in the first quarter scoring 29 points and shooting 3-6 from deep. They even had a ten-point lead with four minutes left in the first, but the lead was cut to four going into the second. Phoenix continued to lead and were up by seven at the half.
With some three-pointers to start the third quarter, Phoenix stretched the lead, but after Memphis clawed their way back, the teams were all knotted up at 74 going into the final period. The fourth was closely-contested, but the Suns fell slightly behind and Memphis made their free throws and sealed the game. Goran Dragic made a three with only a second remaining in the game to help that point differential.
The high man for the Suns was Dragic who finished with 21 points and eight assists with 6-10 shooting from the field and 4-5 from behind the three-point line. It was curious that he only played 33 minutes in the loss (which is slightly less than his average of 34.9 per game) when they need stability on offense while waiting for Leandro Barbosa to get back to his old self.
Markieff Morris scored 17 points off the bench, but had to chuck 17 shots to get there, only making seven of them. Gerald Green scored 12 points on 5-10 shooting, including a couple great in-rhythm threes in the third quarter, but also missed four from deep.
Frye scored 10 points and had a couple blocks, but shot a miserable 4-15 overall and 2-10 from deep. P.J. Tucker had a solid game, finishing with 11 points, nine boards and a couple assists. Miles Plumlee played even better with his eight point, 11 rebound, two steal, two block stat line. He went up so high for one of those blocks that he was practically in the rafters.
The big story was Mike Conley though.
The lefty point guard tied his career-high with 31 points on 11-19 shooting, while adding seven assists and committing no turnovers. That’s a virtuoso performance for one the great underrated point guards currently in the NBA.
Zach Randolph is always a problem for opposing teams as he finished with a near triple-double of 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in the victory. Mike Miller scored 11, while Ed Davis had ten points and 17 rebounds.
The two big problems for the Suns in this game were fastbreak points (like I said in the preview) and points in the paint. Phoenix, who currently leads the league with 19 fastbreak points per game only had five against Memphis, while they gave up seven to the Grizzlies, who are typically a slow, plodding, grind-it-out team.
You’re also not going to win if you let your opponent rack up 52 points in the paint.
The only good thing for the Suns was that they kept their turnovers down. They only committed six, resulting in eight Memphis points.
It’s a good thing for the Suns’ record, demeanor and ego that they don’t have to play Memphis anytime soon. Instead they travel to Detroit for a matchup tomorrow with the 15-22 Pistons.