Grizzlies survive a 3rd quarter scare and temper the Suns, 99-91

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis kicks off their road trip with enough basketball in three quarters to convincing take down the Phoenix Suns.


Final - 1.2.2014 1 2 3 4 Total
Memphis Grizzlies 22 31 16 30 99
Phoenix Suns 26 15 32 18 91

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Not my favorite game, but my favorite result (W).

Jerryd Bayless lit up the arena in the 4th quarter in the return to his old stomping grounds, and the 41 tickets he bought for his friends and family was money well spent. The Grizzlies rode their bigs all game (except for the 3rd Q, it made me rage-blackout, there's a possibility I went and devoured several cattle like a chupacabra around 9:45 tonight) and saw some exceptional offense from Ed Davis who went 8 for 11 for 16 pts and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes.

Things got pretty chippy for a while in the 2nd half (and it had started way earlier than that) so the officials had to bow up and ruin the game for a period, but once the Grizzlies settled down (hat tip to Joerger for circling the wagons after the 3rd Q) Memphis took control and outshot, out-hustled and played smarter than the Suns in the 4th quarter to wrap things up without too much of a scare.

Game Balls

Quite a few to give out, honestly. Mike Miller and Jerryd Bayless took care of biz in the 4th, Ed Davis was very efficient and Zach Randolph with the 20/15 on 50% shooting. Lots of heroes tonight.

Risk/Reward?

James Johnson is showing flashes of why he was in the D-league, but he also consistently comes back from his mistakes and makes enormous plays. He filled up the stat sheet again with 2 blocks, a steal, 6 rebounds, 6 pts and finished at a +19. To me, that makes up for the 4 wacky turnovers.

Cause for Concern

No Nick Calathes again tonight. His development is not going as the Griz planned, and that's a ridiculous understatement. Tayshaun Prince played 15 minutes, scored 2 pts and finished at a -16. I guess that's not really cause for concern as much as it is a reminder of the concern you already had for the situation.

ReBelief?

The Grizzlies did something they haven't done very often this season in the game tonight. They overcame a s***bucket of a 3rd quarter and reasserted themselves like a confident, savvy veteran team. This was the game they won 4/5 times last season and it felt really good to see them renew that ability against the Suns tonight.

And thankfully the prophetic stylings of Andrew Ford didn't take down the Grizzlies tonight.

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