For some reason, the Phoenix Suns didn't get the message that they're supposed to lose out the remainder of the schedule. And the Memphis Grizzlies forgot to bring their A-game to make sure the Suns losing streak continued.
The Phoenix Suns broke a 13-game losing streak, including 8 straight at home. The 8-straight is a new franchise record, but at least the Suns didn't set a franchise record for consecutive overall losses. They merely tied it.
For a night, the players and coach can smile.
(And for those worrying about lotto ball, the Nets won too. So the Suns still have a 2-game "lead" for the 3rd worst record in the NBA)
The Suns regained their lead in the second quarter and never looked back, holding on for the remainder of the game with big play after big play. The Suns out-hustled and out-shot the Grizzlies when it counted, including big plays from Tucker, Len and Goodwin down the stretch. They out-rebounded the Grizzlies by 20 and made 12 three-pointers on the way to their first win under interim head coach Earl Watson.
The Suns grizzlied veterans had good games - Tyson Chandler had 7 points and 12 rebounds, Ronnie Price had 11 points and 3 assists, and P.J. Tucker had a monster 17 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists.
The kids showed well too - Alex Len was a beast, especially in the second half. He finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds. Archie Goodwin had the ball in crunch time and finished with 12 points, while Devin Booker started very hot and finished with 15 points before fouling out.
Devin Booker hit a 3, turned to Lance Stephenson slapping his chest and said, "That's my f---ing shot!" PHX 25-18 after 1Q. #SunsVsGrizz— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) February 28, 2016
Booker had 10 points in the first quarter alone as the Suns took a solid lead.
The best way to overcome the rookie wall is to BUST THROUGH IT.— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) February 28, 2016
End of Q1: PHX 25, MEM 18.
Booker with 10 Pts on 4-6 shooting. #SunsVsGrizz
The Grizzlies kicked off the second quarter with a big run, but the Suns answered with poise and pressure and took the lead back in a strong way rarely seen in these here parts.
The Suns are on a 16-7 run to take a 47-39 lead with 3:04 to go until halftime. Tyson Chandler has 7 points and 11 boards. #SunsVsGrizz— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) February 28, 2016
PHX 54, MEM 46 at half.— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) February 28, 2016
First Suns halftime lead since 2/4 vs. HOU. Largest Suns halftime lead since the last win 1/23 vs. ATL. #SunsVsGirzz
Triple-double watch for ... P.J. Tucker. He has 8 pts, 9 reb and 7 ast with 4:00 to go in the 3rd. MIght've had one in Germany. #SunsVsGrizz— Paul Coro (@paulcoro) February 28, 2016
Tucker continued to play like a boss, reaching double digits in points moments later and then double digits in rebounds early in the 4th quarter.
The Suns maintained the lead throughout the 4th quarter thanks a lot to the hustle of Alex Len. The Grizzlies were already down Marc Gasol, and then lost Brandan Wright to a knee injury as well.
Meanwhile Alex Len reached his own double-double early in the 4th.