I'm so happy this game is over! The Memphis Grizzlies have never beaten the Phoenix Suns three times in one year. Yes, you read that right, even with the years before this where the Grizzlies were really good, and the Suns were not so good. That being said the Grizzlies had held the Suns to an average of 91.5 per game this season and have had some good games when playing the Suns. The usual suspects were out for the Grizzlies (Marc, TA, and Quincy) and Jamaal Franklin went back to the D-League, as well as Eric Bledsoe missing with knee problems and Emeka Okafor out as well.
The Phoenix Suns started this game Red Hot hitting every conceivable thing they threw up, and no matter what defense the Grizzlies played this one looked bleak to start. The Grizzlies offense looked very good, though, as they kept up with the Suns, and it was 29 to 25 Suns after one. ZBo had a rough go to start the game though, hitting just 2 of his first 11 shots. He got pulled early along with Kufos as the Grizzlies ran with some of their bench early in the game. Calathes got some burn at the end of the 1st which surprised me personally, and he played well (and it would have been really well if he hit his two free throws to end the 1st).
More of the same continued in the second quarter, Pheonix couldn't miss, and the Grizzlies did all they could to keep up. ZBo came up more alive in the second quarter which propelled him to a monster 20/10 game. After 2 the Grizzlies were down 55 to 48, but the feeling was that the Suns could not hit this many shots in the second half, right? Well the second half rolls around and the Suns hit 3 of 4 threes and look like they are going to shoot their way to victory, but after a timeout, the Grizzlies finally started playing defense. They put on a run to tie the score at 74 at the end of 3 (they outscored the Suns 26 to 19). The Suns pushed the lead out to 6 again, but the Grizzlies completely shut their water off and finished off strong as they won the game 104 to 99
Stats of Note:
- Mike Conley with 31 points on 19 shots with 7 assists with no steals and no turnovers
- Zach Randolph with a manly 20 points 13 boards 7 assists (what?!?!?!?) and a block
- Ed Davis with his 3rd double double against the Suns in as many games (10 point 17 boards!!!!!)
- The entire bench had a positive +/- (Yes, including Nick Calathes with a +6)
- There was 15 total turnovers between the teams (9 for the Grizz, 6 for the Suns)
- Grizzlies fans' ire misplaced towards Nick Calathes: When a horse throws a shoe, blame the blacksmith.
- Douse 'Em Again: Grizzlies and Suns Meet for Second Time in a Week
- James Johnson interview on The Chris Vernon Show
- Hypothetical: What if The Memphis Grizzlies sent Nick Calathes to the D-League?
- Memphis Grizzlies Profile on James Johnson: Thing-Happener