The Grizzlies look to wrap up their 3-game home stand with a win over the Phoenix Suns. The Grizzlies were 1-1 on the road trip heading into tonight after their 16-point comeback victory on Monday and then Wednesday’s poor shooting performance in the loss to the Hornets. Although Dillon Brooks made his season debut on Wednesday, he was out tonight due to injury management with a game tomorrow night against the New Orleans Pelicans. Prior to the game, head coach Taylor Jenkins said he didn’t anticipate many more “rest” nights for Dillon as the Grizzlies don’t have many back to backs coming up in the next few weeks.
The Grizzlies face a formidable opponent in the Phoenix Suns, even without big man Deandre Ayton. Defense and 3-point shooting were the focus pregame, with Jenkins saying the execution has to be better. Wednesday night seemed like it was just a poor shooting night by the Grizzlies. They won’t shoot less than 25% from beyond the arc again.... right?
The Suns were red hot to start as they shot 3-4 from beyond the arc in the opening minutes of the game, thanks to 2 triples by former Grizzly Jae Crowder. The Grizzlies defense continued to struggle as the Suns got a good look on nearly every possession in the quarter as they took a 36-23 lead at the end of the first. Phoenix made 6 of 10 triples and shot 57% from the field in the opening frame, with the Grizzlies defense was left in scramble mode most of the quarter.
The second quarter wasn’t much better as the Grizzlies struggled to really get anything going offensively. They had a mini-run to nearly cut a 16-point deficit down to single digits but Chris Paul checked in and immediately put that run to rest. The Suns starters built up a 23 point lead late in the second quarter but a run in the final minutes saw the Grizzlies cut the lead back down to 17 before Devin Booker’s fadeaway at the buzzer gave the Suns a 62-43 lead at halftime. The Suns shot 8-17 from distance in the first half while the Grizzlies turned the ball over 9 times in the first half.
It was an ugly first half for the Grizzlies as the defense was terrible and the Suns got whatever look they wanted offensively. Meanwhile the Grizzlies 3-point shooting woes continued as they shot just 3-12 from distance in the first half.
Not shockingly, it was more of the same in the 3rd quarter as the Grizzlies found themselves down by as many as 38 as the Grizzlies were lost on both ends of the court. The Grizzlies were able to cut slightly into the Suns large lead, ending the 3rd quarter down ~just~ 92-64.
The Grizzlies showed some life in the early minutes of the 4th and cut into the Suns lead a little more. It was too little too late, but it was nice to see the team show some sort of energy and effort after being disinterested most of the night. The 4th quarter was at least a little bit more fun as Brandon Clarke had a few big blocks and Ja had a few exciting plays. The Grizzlies even made a couple of triples to make the terrible shooting night look a little better. After shooting 3-21 from beyond the arc in the first 3 quarters, the Grizzlies shot 4-12 in the final quarter. They ended the game shooting 21.2% from beyond the arc (7-33).
Ultimately, the Grizzlies fell to the Suns 119-94 and drop to 6-6 on the season. They’ll be back in action tomorrow night against the Pelicans in New Orleans with tipoff set at 6:00 PM CT
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