Suns driving excessive coming into matchup in Memphis


When the surging Phoenix Suns go to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, it is going to mark second leg of back-to-backs for each groups.

Phoenix opened its weekend set on Friday with a 132-114 victory at New Orleans. The Suns went into the fourth quarter trailing by 11 factors however blasted the Pelicans 41-12 within the last interval.

The consequence was Phoenix’s tenth win prior to now 12 video games.

Jae Crowder‘s six 3-pointers powered Phoenix to a season-high 22 treys, and his 20 factors led a 55-point effort from the Suns bench.

“The elevate that E’Twaun (Moore), Cam Johnson and Jae gave us was big tonight,” Suns coach Monty Williams mentioned of the reserves’ fourth-quarter play. Johnson completed the night time with 13 factors, and Moore complemented his seven factors with aggressive protection.

The excellent fourth quarter marked a turnaround from Phoenix’s earlier outing, a 128-124 loss to Brooklyn on Tuesday. The Nets produced a 40-24 fourth-quarter benefit en path to snapping the Suns’ six-game profitable streak.

On Friday, Deandre Ayton kick-started Phoenix’s rally, following a Crowder trey by scoring six consecutive factors. The Suns’ protection, which got here into the sport ranked fourth within the NBA, permitting 108 factors per recreation, held New Orleans to simply two factors for the primary 5:20 of the interval.

“I instructed the blokes, that type of protection travels,” Williams mentioned.

On Saturday, Phoenix will oppose a Memphis aspect coming off its personal sturdy defensive displaying.

The Grizzlies shut down the Detroit Pistons for a 109-95 victory, Memphis’ lowest yield since holding the Cleveland Cavaliers to 91 factors on Jan. 11. That was additionally the final recreation through which the Grizzlies allowed fewer than 100 factors.

De’Anthony Melton got here off the bench to account for 4 of Memphis’ 12 steals in opposition to the Pistons. Grayson Allen had three thefts and Desmond Bane added two because the Grizzlies compelled 21 turnovers total.

“These guys have been large for us early within the recreation, particularly within the first quarter after we constructed that large lead,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins mentioned of Melton and Bane contributing to a 35-17 opening interval. “Soften doing his regular Soften issues, getting his arms on quite a lot of balls, and I believed he did some actually good issues in one-on-one defensive conditions.”

Memphis earned a 3rd victory in its previous 4 video games and second straight. The Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder 122-113 on Wednesday.

Ja Morant posted a triple-double of 15 factors, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in opposition to the Thunder to help an All-Star Recreation marketing campaign that Jenkins touted in his postgame press convention on Friday.

“Ja’s very deserving of being an All-Star reserve,” Jenkins mentioned.

Final season’s Rookie of the 12 months, Morant missed eight video games from Dec. 30 by way of Jan. 13. Since his return, Memphis is 8-6 and has climbed again to over .500 on the season, regardless of coping with a bevy of different accidents.

Jaren Jackson Jr. and Justise Winslow have but to play this season, and Dillon Brooks — one of many Grizzlies’ prime scorers at 15.8 factors per recreation — was scratched from the lineup Friday. Brooks is day-to-day on account of proper thigh soreness.

Phoenix comes into Memphis at full power and has had a lot of its core beginning lineup intact in pursuit of the franchise’s first postseason look since 2009-10.

Starters Ayton and Mikal Bridges haven’t missed a recreation whereas Chris Paul has missed only one. Main scorer Devin Booker (24.4 factors per recreation) missed 4 video games final month on account of a hamstring pressure.

–Discipline Degree Media



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