Notebook: Grizzlies 92, Suns 81

Posted Jan 6, 2013 11:50 PM

Mike Tulumello, for

THE FACTS: The Memphis Grizzlies, though far from flashy, were more than efficient Sunday night. And that was plenty enough to score an easy 92-81 road win over the punchless Phoenix Suns.

The Grizzlies moved to 21-10 for the first time in franchise history. But they're only 9-8 since Dec. 1, and coach Lionel Hollins lamented the team's shooting problems before the game. Against the Suns, they managed to take high-percentage shots and hit them (53.6 percent).

"We took what came to us," said Zach Randolph, who led the Grizzlies with 21 points and eight rebounds. Rudy Gay added 20 points.

"We got some open shots. ... Zach got going in the post, and we completed some fast breaks," Hollins said.

The Grizzlies were pleased they didn't have to endure a challenging game because they have to play Monday night at Sacramento.

"We have to travel, so it was important we take care of business," Gay said.

The Suns, losers of eight of nine and 16 of 20, fell to 12-23. They got 17 points from small forward P.J. Tucker. They scored 81 or fewer points in consecutive games for the first time since January 2005.

"They do a great job of on-ball defense and attack defense," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said of the Grizzlies. "They just really got us out of anything we were trying to do."

QUOTABLE: "If their main guys get stopped, we get a win."

-- Gay on defending the Suns. Leading scorer Goran Dragic (14.5 average) had just nine points, while Luis Scola (13.1) scored only seven.

THE STAT: The Grizzlies had 19 fast-break points to one for the Suns. With 5:53 left in the game, Shannon Brown drew a foul on a fast-break, hit 1-for-2 from the line to record the point.

TURNING POINT: The Grizzlies never trailed (the game was tied 8-8 early) but had one rough spot. The Suns drew to within 71-65 early in the fourth quarter. Then the Grizzlies turned the ball over five times in five possessions, yet the Suns themselves didn't score during this same period. Next, Marc Gasol scored on a lob from Jerryd Bayless, and the Grizzlies were off on a 17-7 run that made it 88-72.

QUOTABLE II: "It didn't start lately. It's been a long time. It's been 40 percent every time out. We miss layups, and we're not executing on the fast break."

-- Hollins, pre-game, on the Grizzlies' offensive woes. In this game, though, they shot, 53.6 percent.

HOT: Randolph shot 9-for-11. "I picked my spots," he said.

NOT: The Suns shot just 39 percent.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: The Suns dusted off the seldom-used small forward Wesley Johnson. He responded with six points on 2-for-5 shooting in nearly 17 minutes. Johnson may have moved ahead of Michael Beasley, the free-agent bust who now rarely plays. Beasley at first was supplanted by the journeyman Tucker (who has started recently). "We will use him and see if he can help us out," Gentry said.

NOTABLE: The Suns' next win will be the 2,000th in franchise history. ... The Suns' big free-agent signing, Beasley, and No. 1 draft pick, Kendall Marshall, both drew DNP-CDs Sunday.

UP NEXT: For the Grizzlies, Monday @ Sacramento, Wednesday @ Golden State, Friday vs. San Antonio. For the Suns, Tuesday @ Milwaukee, Wednesday @ Boston, Friday @ Brooklyn.