Close to a month ago, the Memphis Grizzlies took on the Phoenix Suns in FedexForum and walked away with a win after two overtimes. Since then they have gone 9-1 and have been looking like an unstoppable juggernaut at home. Now, starting their first game of three of a week long Western road trip, they had hoped to continue their winning ways tonight in Phoenix.
Despite leading almost the entire game, the Grizzlies had a sloppy 4th quarter and it nearly cost them the game. I say nearly, because with under 2 minutes to go and down 7, the Grizzlies managed to make crucial free throws and play solid defense (including huge blocks by Courtney Lee and Marc Gasol) to steal one in Phoenix. Grizz win 102-101 and are on a 7-game winning streak going into Utah on Wednesday.
1st quarter: Grizz 25 - Suns 23
2nd quarter: Grizz 49 - Suns 44
The refs' whistles were mostly silent: The tone of the game was set early and both teams were allowed to get away with physical play. The FT distribution was 7 to 6 in favor of the Grizzlies (each team shot one FT from a tech). The Suns didn't do themselves any favors by missing all 6 of their free throws.
The Grizz bench > the Suns bench: Starting the 2nd quarter, the Grizz bench dominated the Suns bench and stretched the lead up to 10 points. The big man Kosta Koufos dominated the glass with 8 rebounds, while The Grindfather, Tony Allen, made more layups than he missed to tally 8pts. Overall, the Grizz bench outscored the Suns bench 21 - 6 in the first half (with Brandon Wright scoring all 6 pts).
Living in the paint: Despite the physical play, both teams had 34pts in the paint at the half.
3rd quarter: Grizz 77 - Suns 72
The refs' whistles heated up, noticeably changing the tone of the game from no calls to everything being called, and the referees allowed both teams to be in the bonus with over half the quarter to go. The Grizzlies took full advantage by getting to the line 6 times after being put in the bonus. The Suns did go to the line 5 times, but 3 were on and-1s.
Grizz get sloppy at the end of the 3rd: With little over a minute left in the 3rd, the Grizz seemed to be in full control with a 10pt lead. The Suns then proceed to rattle off 8 straight points off bad Grizz possessions and turnovers.
In case you didn’t know, TA is Mr. Hustle
Isaiah Thomas goes Supernova in the 2nd half: After scoring exactly 0pts in the 1st half, Thomas went off, scoring 24 in the 2nd .
Mike Conley did his best to stop him:
TOs almost doom the Grizzlies late: Late in a back and forth 4th quarter, the Grizzlies turned the ball over 4 straight times which lead to 8 Suns points and a 7pt lead. However...
Courtney Lee spoils Isaiah Thomas bobblehead night with a huge block: Jeff
Green just gained a few more Grizz fans: Personal note: I just jumped off my couch seeing that Jeff Green score and-1!!!
Marc Gasol blocks Markieff Morris and preserves the 102-101 victory.