MEMvPHX: Grind City Rewind 2.28.18
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Postgame Report: Grizzlies come up short against Suns
The Memphis Grizzlies fell to the Phoenix Suns 110-102, ending the month of February winless as their losing streak reached 11 straight games. This is the first time the Grizzlies recorded a winless calendar month (0-10) since the Vancouver Grizzlies went 0-17 in March 1996 in the franchise’s inaugural season.
Devin Booker led all scorers with 34 points (12-29 FG, 9-10 FT), his third straight 30-point outing. Josh Jackson added a career-high 29 points (9-16 FG, 10-13 FT) and seven rebounds. Elfrid Payton scored 19 points (7-12 FG) and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Suns ended their 10-game losing streak. The Suns’ starters totaled 95 points.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 22 points (7-21 FG, 6-7 FT), including 19 before halftime, and 13 rebounds for his 22nd double-double of the season. Andrew Harrison finished with 20 points (5-11 FG, 3-5 3P, 7-8 FT) and a game-high seven assists. Jarell Martin added 16 points (5-10 FG, 3-4 3P) off the bench. JaMychal Green posted his fourth straight double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
After leading six (26-21) through the first frame, Memphis opened the second quarter with a 13-5 run (3:48) to take a 12-point lead, the largest of the half (40-28). However, the Suns gradually cut into the lead and finished the second quarter on a 19-5 run to take a three-point halftime advantage (57-54).
Phoenix led 65-64 with 6:12 to play in the third quarter before going on a 15-5 run over the next 4:34 to go up by 10 going into the final frame. The Suns reached their largest lead of the night (97-83) late in the fourth quarter.
The Grizzlies fell to 0-11 this season without Tyreke Evans, who missed his third straight game with a right rib injury.
The Grizzlies look ahead to Friday when they take on the Denver Nuggets at home for the first time this season. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. CT. Tune in to FOX Sports Southeast presented by Pinnacle Financial Partners or listen on 92.9 FM ESPN.
Key Stats of the Night
- Devin Booker (34 points), Josh Jackson (career-high 29 points) and Elfrid Payton (19 points) combined for 82 of Phoenix’s 110 points, helping the Suns end a 10-game losing streak and send the Grizzlies to an 11th straight loss.
Key Run of the Night
- With the Grizzlies leading 54-48 with 1:52 remaining before halftime, the Suns finished the half on a 9-0 run, punctuated by a buzzer-beating three by Josh Jackson.
On the loss...
Turnovers got the best of us early. We had nine turnovers in the first quarter, but somehow managed to still be in the lead. But in those moments, those are when you have to stretch the lead, right? You value every possession and you get a shot on those possessions, instead of a seven-point game, you get a 14-point game, something like that. And then defensively, we had too many breakdowns understanding personnel. Josh Jackson, give him credit, is a driver. In that second quarter, we allowed him to get to his spots. Same thing with [Devin] Booker. We allowed him to get to his catch-and-shoot jump shots. When he wasn’t doing that, it was other tendencies: [he] likes to drive left, and we were allowing him to drive left. Understanding your opponent and trying to take away their strengths, I think that got us in the second quarter.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On JaMychal Green’s development and recent stretch of strong play...
It’s a credit and a compliment to him. Tough circumstances, tough situations, and he’s continued to battle. I think with him in particular, there’s been a role change for him as far as in the locker room as a veteran. For the longest time, he was a guy who was scrapping and clawing, trying to get a guaranteed contract and prove that he was an NBA player. Now he’s the proven veteran, and he’s got to accept the responsibility of trying to help lead some of these young guys. He’s done that, with his effort and the way that he approaches the game, the way that he approaches them.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On what stands out about the progress of the Grizzlies’ younger players...
All of them have shown flashes where they’ve had huge impacts, but to me, it’s their competitive nature and their willingness to go out and fight every night. Some nights, obviously, things haven’t gone the way we planned. But they haven’t backed down from anybody. They’ve continued to fight and continued to scrap.-- Coach Bickerstaff
On how the losing streak is affecting the team...
There’s always a lower level that you reach, but you have to reset. Obviously, there are going to be better days, worse days, and for us, it was a frustrating day for me and you want to reset and kind of look at the positive of things and try to help as much as possible and don’t let frustration set in because that is the easy thing to do. So, you’ve got to continue to work at it. And I know there are going to be some days that are easier than others, but you just let go.-- Marc Gasol
On whether he has ever experienced a losing streak like this one...
I think my first year here we went a month without winning, or pretty close to that. I think the month Marko (Jaric) couldn’t make a shot I believe, or not, before that maybe. Those memories, you throw them all in the trash. You don’t carry those and this one is really fresh. That’s the institution that we’re in but I won’t let go. I won’t do it. I refuse to do it.-- Marc Gasol
On what needs to change for the team to get back on track...
We haven’t really been on track all season. We’ve got to continue to play better. I think I’ve got to step up a little more, become a leader and we’ve got to finish games better.-- Andrew Harrison
On a winless February...
What I can say is that everyone comes in here and gives it their all everyday so you can’t get mad. You can’t point the finger at anybody. We all have to just stick together and finish out the season strong, continue to fight and continue to show that we like the game.-- Andrew Harrison
- Marc Gasol (22 points, 13 rebounds) had 19 points at halftime, tying the most by a Grizzlies player in the first half this season. Gasol’s double-double was his 22nd of the season.
- Andrew Harrison (20 points, seven assists) posted his fourth 20-point outing of the season. Over his last five games, Harrison is averaging 17.6 points per game.
- JaMychal Green (12 points, 12 rebounds) recorded his fourth straight double-double.
- Devin Booker scored a game-high 34 points. Booker is averaging 34.7 points per game over his last three games and 31.8 points per game over his last five games.
- The Grizzlies have now lost 11 straight games, tying the season-worst streak spanning from Nov. 11-Dec. 2.
- Memphis is now 0-11 without Tyreke Evans in the lineup. The team is 18-31 with Evans, who missed his third straight game with a right rib injury.