PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Regarded by many as the favorite to win the NBA title, the Phoenix Suns begin the postseason with Sunday's Western Conference first-round series opener against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Sparked by a desire to run the fast break at every opportunity, the Suns were the league's highest-scoring team (110.4) - 13 points better than than the league average - and recorded 33 more victories than last season.

After spending six years with the Dallas Mavericks, Steve Nash came back to Phoenix and led the league in assists (11.5) to emerge a serious contender for NBA Most Valuable Player.

Capitalizing on Nash's presence, Amare Stoudemire ranked sixth in the league in scoring (26.0) and second in field-goal shooting percentage (55.9). He was the only player in the top 10 in both categories.

While the Suns seemed to score at will this season, they had their problems with the Grizzlies, who held Phoenix to an average of 89 points in their last three meetings.

After coach Hubie Brown abruptly resigned in December, Mike Fratello led Memphis to a 40-26 record and led the team to the fourth-best defense in the league (91.1), holding 66 opponents under 100 points.

Leading scorer Pau Gasol, who missed nearly two months with plantar fasciitis, played 17 games since his return in mid-March and gradually is returning to form for the Grizzlies, who have lost five of their last six.

Phoenix got 28 points from Joe Johnson and 16 rebounds from Shawn Marion in a 97-91 triumph over Memphis on March 20 to earn a split of their four encounters.