The Suns started the game with a really cool fake-two-turnovers-tp-get-the-open-drive play that Eric Bledsoe made to look pretty at the end of the shot clock. They need to try that one again.
The Grizz tried to do Grizz things - pound the ball inside - after missing an opening three pointer badly.
The teams traded scores for the first 6 minutes until the Grizzlies got to the line on a foul call for the second time and the Suns called timeout. In that timeout, Markieff Morris barked at the refs long enough to get ANOTHER TECHNICAL. It's like they are daring the Suns coaches and front office to do something here. Just a week ago, Hornacek relieved the T rule and in two of three games since then.
The Suns broke out to a 21-16 lead though, with Morris still in there. on a series of good plays by Dragic and Morris. But then the Suns got loose with the ball, letting the Memphis guards poke the ball away on a couple of possessions and quickly take the lead 23-21.
Gerald Green capped it off with a bad possession (turnover) and a flagrant foul on the other end to help the Grizzlie take the lead. He later lost Tony Allen on a back cut to the basket for a layup.
Grizzlies lead, 25-23.
The Grizzlies put in the all-balding lineup (and Tony Allen) to go on an 8-0 run, of course, against the Suns second unit + Markieff, who stayed out there. Of course they did.
When the Grizzlies lead extended to 10 (33-23), Hornacek called an angry timeout and replaced the group with the starters (again, with Markieff still out there). They promptly went on a 9-0 run to cut the Grizzlies lead to 1, but then Memphis coach Dave Joerger pumped up his boys in a timeout and (without substitutions) went on a 7-0 run to take an 8-point lead right back. Oy.
The Suns starters pulled back to 4 behind, but by then the Grizzlies had been able to rest their starters nearly 10 second-quarter minutes.
Both teams starters ended the half, with the Grizzlies' Mike Conley making a 22-foot step back jumper to put the Grizz up 5 at the break. Yes. Another buzzer-beating jumper. At least this time, it's only half time.
The Suns ended the first half 0-6 on free throws (actually 0-7, but Kosta Koufos had a lane violation on another miss) and down 11 on second chance points (13 for Memphis, 2 for the Suns). The Suns missed several point-blank put-backs on just bad layup attempts.
I am frustrated.
49-44 Grizzlies lead.
Suns are being propped up by Bledsoe and Dragic - 12-for-20 combined for 25 points, but only 1-4 on threes. The Suns as a team only took 6 threes in the half, spending much of their time driving to the rim to challenge the Grizzlies (and being fairly successful).
The Suns started the third quarter strong, even though the Grizzlies were drawing fouls (three in the first 1:23 of the half), pulling even at 51-51 before the Grizzlies settled into making mid range jumpers and drawing foul calls on drives.
It was nearly down to 5 minutes left in the 3rd before the Suns made a free throw, with Tucker pulling the Suns even on a pair.
The Suns were just making too many turnovers though, with three in the first half of the quarter, to allow the Grizzlies to pull away with a 8-point lead at the 5:10 mark (65-57). The Suns had committed 6 fouls in 7 minutes by this time.
The went 0-9 from the field during a 6.5 minute stretch, and sat at 3-for-10 on threes and 4-11 on FTs, yet were only down 7 with 2:48 before a really generous foul call for Zach Randolph as he once again used his body and flopping to create a foul call under the basket. On that same move, and flop, none of the Suns would get that call.
The Grizzlies 10-point lead was looking dire for the Suns when the second unit made a huge difference this time, and cut the lead to just two on a pair of three-point plays before the Grizzlies got 3 points on the next possession to bring it back to 5 at the end of the quarter.
Yes, once again the other team finishes the quarter with points while the Suns come up short.
Grizzlies lead, 77-72
The Suns started the 4th quarter bad, with turnovers and bad defense to allow the Grizzlies to pull back to a 9-point lead after a missed Thomas layup followed by a couple of easy scores for the Grizzlies.
But the Suns would not go away, coming back to a 4-point game before the Grizzlies called another timeout. It was 82-78 after a jumper by Marcus Morris and a layup by Thomas on a drive from the three-point line. Just before that, Hornacek put in the Trips lineup and got Isaiah open on a switch onto Udrih.
Out of the timeout, Memphis countered with Tony Allen / Mike Conley / Courtney Lee combo to defend the trips, with a big front of Koufos and Gasol. The Suns stayed small, and Marcus Morris made a three over Koufos before he was subbed for Green.
The Trips just kept on coming, finding the mismatch and taking the Grizz off the dribble to take the lead 90-89 for the first time with 5 minutes to go. The Suns pulled out to a 3-point lead (94-91) on a steal by Bledsoe and great pass through traffic to Goran Dragic under the basket.
They got to 96-91 on another breakaway after a Gasol offensive foul.
The Suns got up 101-94 on a great three pointer by Isaiah Thomas to give him 24 for the game, but then the Grizzlies scored 4 quick points by Randolph to cut the Suns lead to 3 (101-98) with 1:12 left.
And then it was 1, on Gasol free throws off the ball.
And then Conley missed the three pointer, but Jeff Green got the offensive rebound and put it in to tie...and GET ANOTHER FOUL CALL.
Grizz up 1.
Suns couldn't even get off the last shot.
Yet another wins at the last second on the Suns home floor.
Getting tired of this yet? I'm sure the players are.