Notebook: Suns 96, Grizzlies 90

Posted Feb 5, 2013 11:45 PM

Marlon W. Morgan, for

THE FACTS: Phoenix guard Goran Dragic was sick with a virus and through three quarters, it was quite apparent that he wasn't himself with just two points on 1-for-6 shooting. Dragic, however, shook off the bug long enough in the fourth quarter to score 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting to help the Suns pick up a road win at Memphis 96-90. Dragic's layup with 1:24 remaining broke an 88-88 tie, putting the Suns on top for good.

QUOTABLE: "I was struggling the first three quarters. I got two and-ones and got some momentum. I was feeling pretty OK. ... I feel awful, but it feels good when you win."
-- Goran Dragic

THE STAT: It was definitely a tale of two halves offensively for the Grizzlies. They shot 53.5 percent (23-for-43) in the first half as they took a 52-50 lead into the locker room. However, in the second half, the Grizzlies shot just 33.3 percent (13-for-39)

TURNING POINT: After leading for most the games, the Suns found themselves trailing 77-72 in the fourth quarter. After two free throws by Jermaine O'Neal, Dragic drove to the basket, scored and was fouled. After completing the 3-point play, Dragic did the same thing on the Suns next possession which regained the lead 80-79, but more importantly, got him in a groove for his big fourth quarter.

HOT: The Suns starting center Marcin Gortat and his backup O'Neal had their way in the post. Gortat made his first seven shots and finished with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting. O'Neal was just as effective, making 5-for-7 shots for 14 points.

NOT: While the Suns big men were dominant, Grizzlies center Marc Gasol and backup forward Darrell Arthur struggled. Plagued with foul trouble trying to guard Gortat, Gasol had just six points as he missed six of his eight shots. Playing behind Gasol, Arthur was 1-for-10 from the floor, scoring four points.

QUOTABLE II: "The disappointing part is they outscored us in the paint, 52-40, and they got 11 offensive rebounds for 16 second-chance points. Then, we made some sloppy turnovers coming down the stretch for no reason. ... They [the Suns] deserved to win. They executed well."
-- Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins

NOTABLE: Memphis backup guard Jerryd Bayless continued his hot shooting, scoring a season-high 29 points while making 11 of his 15 shots, including all three of the Grizzlies' 3-pointers. Bayless has now scored 20 or more points in three of the last four games. His 29 points are the most by a Memphis reserve since Chucky Atkins had 29 Jan. 24, 2007 at Utah. ... Grizzlies guard Mike Conley struggled on both ends of the floor. Conley scored just nine points on 3-for-11 shooting, including 0-for-5 in the fourth quarter. He also had a hard time slowing down Dragic in the fourth quarter. ... The Grizzlies committed 10 turnovers in the second half, including four in the final three minutes. ... The Suns are now 4-4 under interim coach Lindsey Hunter. ... The Grizzlies are now 4-4 in their last eight games at FedExForum, where they are now 18-8 this season. They started the season 13-2 at home. ... Making his first start since being traded to Memphis from Detroit last week, forward Tayshaun Prince scored 11 points with six rebounds, four assists and three steals. ... The Suns have seven wins against 20-win Western Conference teams. ... All-Star forward Zach Randolph had 21 points and 13 rebounds for his 29th double-double of the season. In four games against Phoenix this season, Randolph averaged 24.5 points and 13.3 rebounds.

UP NEXT: For the Suns, Wednesday at New Orleans, Friday at Oklahoma City, Sunday vs. Oklahoma City. For the Grizzlies, Wednesday at Atlanta, Friday vs. Golden State, Sunday vs. Minnesota.