Grizzlies Edge Suns to Halt Three-Game Slide
Memphis 91, Phoenix 87
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 17 (Ticker) -- Better known as a scorer, Mike Miller made a defensive play that allowed the Memphis Grizzlies to snap their longest skid of the season.
Miller had his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds and came up with a key block late in the game as the Grizzlies ended their three-game losing streak with a 91-87 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
"We got to a point late in the game there where it might have been easy to crack, but we hung in there and came up with some big hustle plays," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said.
On the next play, Marion was short on a jumper, and Damon Stoudamire drained a 20-footer. Steve Nash pulled Phoenix within 89-87 on a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left, but Stoudamire sealed it with a pair of free throws.
"You can't shoot 37 percent and make mental errors down the stretch," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "To be able to win on the road against a team like that, we have to shoot the ball better."
"They just made their shots in the last minute, we got ours blocked," said Nash, who had 19 points, six assists and seven rebounds.
The game was a matchup of the league's highest scoring team in Phoenix (102.6 points) and the best defense in Memphis (85.3). Phoenix made just 8-of-28 shots in the fourth quarter and was held to 38 percent shooting (36-96) overall while committing 17 turnovers.
"We played some good defense in the second half," Grizzlies forward Shane Battier said. "They're so explosive. They came back from 15 down last night (at New Orleans/Oklahoma City), so we knew they were capable of putting up big numbers in quarters. We just sent some guys flying around tonight and tried to disrupt them, and it worked."
The Suns outrebounded the Grizzlies 60-45, including 19 on the offensive glass. However, they were outscored 48-34 in the paint.
Phoenix was playing its ninth game in 13 nights and was missing five players due to injury. D'Antoni only called on Eddie House and Jimmy Jackson off the bench Saturday while nine Grizzlies played at least 12 minutes.
"When you have injuries, it's hard to make runs," Marion said. "Your legs get heavy on you, the ball gets heavy on you. We still think every time that we have a chance to win the game."
House made five 3-pointers and scored 21 points off the bench for Phoenix, which made 12-of-32 from beyond the arc.
Grizzlies second-year point guard Antonio Burks scored eight of his career-high 12 points in the second quarter.