It didn’t start out pretty but the Suns gradually found the energy and drive to get the win and avoid a full month of losses for the first time in franchise history.
Devin Booker led the Suns with yet another 30+ game with 34 points and 6 rebounds. Josh Jackson set a new career high tonight with 29 points along with 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Elfrid Payton had another double-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Alex Len only had 6 points but brought down 11 boards for the Suns.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 22 points and 13 rebounds and Andrew Harrison had 20 points and 7 assists.
The Suns beat the Griz in FG percentage 45.8% to 37.9% but part of that was due to the Suns actually playing some defense in the second half. Memphis won the three point duel 41.9% to 28.6%. The Suns still need a lot of work on their three point D.
Although a win hurts the Suns in the reverse standings, I’m still happy to watch the Suns finally get another win this season.
The Griz win the tip but Suns score first on a jam by Alex Len. Play by both teams is a little sloppy early.
Suns taking advantage and go up 8-2 at 9:34. Memphis has already committed 5 turnovers (Phoenix has only 1). Memphis is the team that’s getting in early foul trouble tonight. They have 6 team fouls at 7:11. The Suns are now up 13-7.
Still lots of sloppy play and lots of missed shots. Memphis is now just one back as the Suns lead 13-12. The Suns are just shooting 33.3% from the field.
Nice lob from Elf to Bender. Suns up 18-14.
Timeout at 2:44 with the Suns up 18-16. Neither team is playing very well. Memphis’ 9 turnovers are really hurting them as they have been shooting better than the Suns so far. (50% vs 40%). Jackson and Payton each have 7 points, Booker has only 2.
The Griz take a 24-21 lead with 1 minute left. Dudley missed two FTs and the quarter ends with Memphis up 27-21 following another sloppy final possession by the Suns that failed to get a good look at the basket.
Booker finally gets an open look and hits a three but Memphis answers in kind. Griz up 34-28 with 8:52 to go.
Suns shooting 38.5% from the field and 22.2% rom three. The Griz are at 56.5% and 60.0%. Their high number of fouls and turnovers are what is keeping this game close so far.
Marquese Chriss picks up his third foul in just 5 minutes of play. Memphis is up 40-31 but Booker may be heating up. He now has 10 points. Gasol has 12 for the Griz.
Book gets fouled on a 3 point attempt and hits all 3 FTs. Griz now is lead 44-36.
Gasol gets Len to commit his 3rd foul. Dragan Bender now in at center, Jackson at PF. Gasol now has 17 as the Griz go up 49-38 with 4:00 left to play.
Suns go on a mini 6-0 run. Griz now up 49-44 as Bender picks up his 3rd foul but stays in.
Jackson throws down a nasty dunk but Bender picks up his 4th foul on the other end. Griz up 54-48 with 1:30 to play.
The Suns seem to wake up late and tie the game 54-54, then stop the Griz and Jackson hits a wild shot at the end of the half to give the Suns a 57-54 lead.
At the Half
The Suns started out shooting badly but they’ve up their FG shooting to 50% for the half. Three point percentage was just 30.8% though. Booker has 17 point but Jackson leads the Suns in scoring so far with 18.
Memphis shot 45.2% from the field after cooling off somewhat in the 2nd quarter. They hit 40% of their threes though. Marc Gasol was their high scorer with 19 and no other Griz player was in double figures. They had lots of turnovers early but finally got a handle on those but the Suns started committing some of their own.
The big problem for the Suns going into the second half will be having all of their bigs in foul trouble... again. Bender has 4, Len has 3 and Chriss has 3 also. The Suns are once again not shooting their FTs well and have hit only 68.4% so far. Memphis has hit 83.3% of theirs.
Suns score first but Chriss picks up his 4th foul on the other end just 32 seconds into the 3rd quarter.
Chriss gets his 5th foul at 10:24 and Jared Dudley checks in. Suns up 63-56 though. Overall, the Suns look less sloppy and more focused than in the 1st half.
The Griz cut the Suns lead to two, 63-61. The Suns are already in the penalty and the Griz have yet to commit a foul. Timeout at 6:58 with the Suns leading 63-62.
Booker now has 23. Suns up 67-64... now 69-64.
Gasol just tried to mug Alex Len. Len should file assault charges.
Missed FTs are killing the Suns again but they still lead 69-67.
Good D by the Suns and Booker hits 2 FTs at the other end to go up 73-67.
Timeout at 2:13 with the Suns up 76-69.
Josh Jackson is having a good game! He now has 23 points which matches his career high. Suns up 82-72 at the end of three.
Booker resting to start the quarter.
Jackson with 25 now. Suns up 86-74.
Suns FT shooting is getting better. Now up to 71.9%.
The Griz cut the Suns’ lead to 88-83 but Jackson adds another 2 and it’s 90-83.
Shaq Harrison has been playing some very good defense tonight. The Suns can always use that.
Jackson now has 29 and the Suns are up 94-83 with 7:50 to go.
Shaq Harrison hits a corner 3 and the Suns go up 97-83!
Booker is still on the bench. He finally goes back in at 5:57.
Triano calls time at 4:50 with the Suns up 98-87.
Jackson blocks Gasol but the Griz have cut into the Suns lead with a 10-2 run. Suns’ lead now 102-97 with 1:15 to play.
Book scores his 30th point and the Suns back up by seven, 104-97.
Shaq Harrison gets his 7th point of the night and the Suns go up 106-97 with 44 seconds to go.
Now 108-100 with 39 seconds to go. Memphis calls timeout.
The Griz try some full court pressure and almost force a turnover. Timeout Suns.
The teams trade a couple of baskets and this game is over.
Suns win 110-102!