As the inimitable Paul Coro puts it:
Goran Dragic's inner fire stays lit, but it had been raging during a seven-game losing streak.
The Suns point guard said, "I feel like scum," after the streak started with the franchise's third-worst blowout ever in Detroit. The trip ended in Memphis with Dragic missing a possible game-cinching free throw and getting trapped on a potential game-winning play. And before the streak went to seven with Dragic watching in illness from home, he hit his tipping point when he missed an open layup to tie against Dallas.
When the mild-mannered point guard got to his locker after the Dallas loss last Thursday, he went Hulk and ripped his jersey off his body, splitting the "SU" from the "NS." Memphis did not like him when he was angry.
Gentry loved the defense, that Randolph did not score much in the game after getting 10 in the first few minutes after tipoff. It looked like a long night for the Suns, but they adjusted and Randolph only scored eight points the rest of the way.
The Suns even threw in some zone, which they had hardly used at all this season, and it was effective. The Grizzlies struggled to score in the final eight minutes of the first half (only 7 points after taking a 36-25 lead) with the Suns playing a lot of zone defense in that time.
Jared Dudley gave away a few secrets in his euphoria over the game.
"It was a big hack-fest out there. They weren't calling fouls for us, so we started fouling them."
Other notes from the win:
- This was Goran Dragic's first ever game-winning shot. The shot came with .05 seconds left on the clock with Goran telling himself not to miss another gimme after juking Gasol out of his shoes on a drive to the basket.
- Dudley (9), Brown (7), Dragic (5) and Beasley (6 in 10 minutes) combined for nearly as many rebounds by themselves as the Suns had in total on Sunday night against Orlando. They were active and aggressive on the boards against a really big team with Randolph and Gasol out there.
- "They put a lot of pressure on us on our pick and roll. They started trapping on the sides and we weren't prepared to make the plays," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said after the game about the Suns swarming defensive effort.
- The Suns overcame YET ANOTHER double digit deficit, marking their fifth win against 13 losses in those circumstances this season.
- While this was the Suns first win against a team with a current winning record, it's the fourth victory this season over a team who had a winning record at the time of the game.
- This was their third straight home win against the Grizzlies, each team winning on their home floor the last two seasons.
- The Suns lead the league with SEVEN games decided by three points or less. They should be getting used to this by now.
- Jared Dudley has scored 15+ points in consecutive games for the second time this season. Who says the Suns don't have a go-to scorer? LOL
Last but not least:
- Speaking of Jared Dudley, he had a two-handed slam in the half court last night, knifing through defenders on the way to the hoop. I may be wrong, but I believe that's the first half-court dunk of his career. If anyone can find video of his dunk, post it here or email me with it.