The Phoenix Suns once again collapsed in the 4th quarter in a game they had under control throughout. They led by 11 points entering the final quarter.
The lack of effort on the glass and in executing their offense riddled them yet again, falling to a Grizzlies team without Ja Morant.
Devin Booker — 24 points, 8 assists, 0 rebounds, 2 steals on 9-17 FG in 37 minutes
Kevin Durant — 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists on 11-23 FG in 36 minutes
Jusuf Nurkic — 18 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists on 8-17 FG in 32 minutes.
Marcus Smart — 25 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds on 9-20 FG in 37 minutes
Jaren Jackson Jr. — 28 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists on 11-20 FG in 32 minutes
The Suns opened the first quarter strong, leading 8-1 through the first 2:54 minutes of action. Memphis called a timeout after missing their first eight shots of the game.
Kevin Durant looked confident early in his return, attacking the rim with authority.
Memphis answered with an 8-0 run of their own, which led to a Suns timeout up 13-12 halfway through the first.
The Suns quickly gave the Grizzlies a taste of their own medicine with an 8-0 run which prompted a Memphis timeout with Phoenix leading 21-12. Grayson Allen picked up where he left off from Friday early on.
8-0 run for the Suns, capped off by one of those drive-and-kicks with Grayson Allen one pass away. Spacing is just unfair when he shares the court with 2-3 members of the Big 3
— Gerald Bourguet (@GeraldBourguet) January 8, 2024
A 5-0 Memphis run concluded what was a quarter of runs from the teams trading shots. Suns led 32-26 after 12 minutes of action. Grayson Allen (8) and Devin Booker (7) led the Suns in scoring.
The Grizzlies opened the second quarter in control, getting easy looks and taking advantage of the Suns’ mistakes. An 11-3 push to start the second gave them a two-point lead with 9:24 remaining in the opening half.
The rest of the half continued the theme of teams trading runs, it got to the point where even the broadcast crew mentioned how comical it was. There were four 8-0 runs (two from each team) in the first half alone.
The Suns took a five-point lead into the break.
The Suns had a couple of lapses defensively early on in the third, but the offense looked as crisp as ever, scoring 17 points in the first 4:46.
Jusuf Nurkic had 12 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 assists in his first 22 minutes of action. His reads offensively were certainly helping with the flow of the offense, generating several clean looks.
Josh Okogie had an impressive steal that led to an “and-one” in transition, making a timely play to shift the momentum back in Phoenix’s favor.
The Suns went on a 12-0 run to take a 94-83 lead sparked by a pair of Okogie steals and some transition buckets.
An impressive pass from Booker set up Drew Eubanks for an “and one” opportunity of his own. Elite pass, an even better finish from the big fella.
Phoenix took a 97-96 lead into the final quarter of action. Booker and Smart led all scorers with 21 points apiece heading into the 4th.
Memphis came out with a furious 10-1 run to open the 4th quarter, cutting the Phoenix lead to 2. Frank Vogel opted for a timeout after a Jaren Jackson Jr. triple.
A Kevin Durant jumper stopped the bleeding to tie things up at 100.
There were some rough stretches on the glass, allowing far too many second and third chances for the Grizzlies.
It’s been a common theme for the team this season, unfortunately. Vince Williams Jr. was everywhere for Memphis, disrupting the Suns all night. Jaren Jackson Jr. hit some big shots and the Grizzlies’ offense showed up in a quarter where the Suns lack of urgency cost them the game.
Suns lose, 121-115 and fall to 19-17 on the season.
Up next? The Suns take on the Clippers tomorrow in Los Angeles.
Brandon Duenas www.brightsideofthesun.com
2024-01-08 03:39:42 , Bright Side Of The Sun – All Posts