The Memphis Grizzlies traveled to the oddly named Talking Stick Resort Arena to play the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night. After beating the Suns handily earlier in the season, and riding a three game win streak, the Grizzlies were ready to continue their success.
Memphis would start Mike Conley, Kyle Anderson, Garrett Temple, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Marc Gasol, a lineup that has been consistent through the early part of this season. The offenses of each team struggled early, a measly score of 9-7 in favor of Phoenix after the first media timeout at the 6:58 mark. That would quickly change as the Suns’ Trevor Ariza caught fire from three point land, quickly followed by easy buckets for his team.
The Grizzlies kept the score close with transition buckets via turnovers on the defensive end. Wayne Selden Jr. contributed two huge threes off the bench, one to end the quarter, capping a 14-3 Memphis run to end the frame. Memphis would lead 28-21 after one quarter. The biggest highlight of the quarter came from Omri Casspi who threw a “Shamgod” on Josh Jackson, a move Russell Westbrook pulled out of his bag of tricks recently. Truthfully, it was more amazing from Casspi simply because it was miraculous.
Omri Casspi whips out a shammgod on Josh Jackson what the pic.twitter.com/wgkwKMcHDh— Wobvin Booker (@WorldWideWob) November 5, 2018
Phoenix would start the second quarter with two quick buckets, narrowing the lead within the first few minutes. After an early timeout, Memphis led 32-29 and trotted a smaller lineup of bench players to eat up the middle minutes of the second quarter. For a big chunk of the quarter, Ivan Rabb played the center position with four guards on the floor.
Mike Conley would commit his third foul with 8:23 left in the second quarter, leaving the point guard responsibility to Shelvin Mack. Mack took advantage of the opportunity. He would take over and lead the Grizzlies to as much as a 10 point lead. The bench squad went on a 12-3 run after Conley’s departure, using dribble-drives to blow past a weak Suns’ defense.
After torching the Grizz for 24 points on 12-13 shooting in the last matchup, DeAndre Ayton scored his first points at 7:20 left in the 2nd quarter. Even more odd, Marc Gasol did not score his first bucket until 1:05 left in the half. The Suns would close the quarter on a high note, though it was overshadowed with an Isaiah Canaan foul on Shelvin Mack’s halfcourt heave to end the half. Memphis would lead 56-52 at half, with Mack leading the Grizzlies at 12 points.
Mike Conley would start the fourth quarter with four fouls. MarShon Brooks also started the quarter with strong a strong bucket and steal to give the Grizz an 85-77 lead at the 9:47 mark, sparking a quick Suns timeout. Dillon Brooks, the second member of the Brooks Brothers, caught fire in the fourth as well, pouring in four straight buckets, including a monster dunk down the lane.
Memphis would build a 12 point lead through the middle of the fourth quarter, the largest lead of the game. The lead would quickly fade with the Suns finding a rhythm from the three point line. Led by Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges, Phoenix went on a 16-6 run to bring the game within reach. Booker would play the rest of the game with five fouls.
Memphis call a timeout with 4:14 and a two point lead. That would be the last lead they held. The Grizzlies lost all offensive rhythm, going away from what worked all game. Mike Conley struggled down the stretch of the fourth quarter, missing four consecutive layup attempts.
The game would be tied at 95 with 3:02 left and again at 98 with 51.2 seconds to go. Booker would hit a well-contested jumper as the shot clock expired to give the Suns a 100-98 lead with 29 seconds left. After a Memphis timeout, Conley hit a quick runner in the lane to tie the game 100, giving Phoenix the ball back with 25 seconds on the clock.
Clutch bucket ☑️— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 5, 2018
Devin Booker is cold blooded ❄️ pic.twitter.com/4clpwVWeCv
Booker dribbled the clock down to two seconds, pulled up from just inside the left wing three point line, drilled another go-ahead jumper, giving the Suns a 102-100 lead and 1.7 left on the clock. Memphis would call their final timeout, advancing the ball, but resulting in a Conley 30-foot heave on a set play. Memphis blew a double digit lead for the second time this season and have yet to win back-to-back road games on the year.
The Grizzlies will travel to the Bay Area to face the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.