NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 10 (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (23-15) at Phoenix Suns (18-21), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It appears the Memphis Grizzlies are headed to the postseason for a second straight year and they will try to stay the course tonight against the Phoenix Suns in the desert.
The Grizzlies are currently seeded fourth in the Western Conference and have won five straight, including Wednesday's 110-92 victory at Golden State in the opener of the road swing. Rudy Gay had 26 points and 12 rebounds and Marreese Speights added 18 points for Memphis, winners in 11 of 13 games overall.
"We're winning, that's all I like. To call yourself a good team, you've got to go out on the road and win," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins told the team's website. "They were focused. ...We didn't let up in the second half like we did in the first half after we had the lead."
Marc Gasol had 17 points and 12 rebounds, while O.J. Mayo netted 16 points in a winning effort. The Grizzlies, who opened the game on a 21-4 run and set a season-high with 33 assists against the Warriors, are 8-10 away from Beale Street and will wrap up the trek in Denver on Sunday.
Memphis point guard Mike Conley tied his season-high with 12 assists. Power forward Zach Randolph has been able to practice and is recovering from a torn ligament in his right knee. A timetable for his return is unknown.
Gay has scored 20-plus points in 19 of the last 29 games and Memphis owns a 15-5 mark when he hits that number. Speights has averages of 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in his last two games for a Memphis team that is 12-0 when scoring 100 or more points in a game.
The Suns will resume a four-game homestand tonight kicked off the residency with Thursday's 96-94 win over the Dallas Mavericks. Jared Dudley scored 18 points and Marcin Gortat added a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds for Phoenix, which rebounded from a loss at Oklahoma City to win for the sixth time in eight tries.
Steve Nash finished with 11 points and 11 assists in the win. Phoenix used an 18-4 run over the final 4 1/2 minutes of the third quarter to take a 78-76 lead entering the fourth and opened the final stanza with a 13-4 burst.
"We got the pace of the game up where we really wanted it," said Suns coach Alvin Gentry. "Once again we came up with stops which is really important to run off misses as opposed to taking the ball and running off makes."
Phoenix is 11-9 in the desert this season and will also host Minnesota and Utah on the current road trip. It has won four straight at home. Gortat owns 23 double-doubles in his last 31 games, while Dudley has double-digit scoring efforts in 17 of his last 20 games since returning to the starting lineup.
The Suns defeated Memphis, 86-84, back on Jan. 28 this season thanks to 21 points from Nash and 20 points out of Dudley. Gasol and Gay both had 18 points in that one for the Grizzlies, who have lost 15 of the last 20 meetings in this series. Memphis has lost nine of 11 trips to the Valley of the Sun.
03/10 10:43:56 ET