Troy Daniels Hits Game-Winning Three to Defeat Grizzlies

by Cody Cunningham

On September 22, Troy Daniels was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Phoenix Suns. On December 21, Daniels geared-up to face his former team.

The Suns had won two of their last three games and Daniels had been a huge part of the team’s success. Since Devin Booker went down with injury, Daniels has averaged 13.9 points while shooting 47 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range.

So of course with 20 seconds left down by two, it would only be fitting for the ball to be in his hands. But let’s rewind a little bit.

The Suns were down by as many as 12 midway through the first quarter, but a spark from Daniels and the second unit put the Suns up by one to end the frame. The Suns would then push this lead up to 11 right before halftime.

The Suns would carry this lead through most of the third quarter, but a run by the Grizzlies brought the game close.

TJ Warren was leading the way for the Suns with 27 points and five rebounds and with 30 seconds left, the plan was to get him the ball.

“The original play was TJ in a mid-pick-and-roll with floor spread, with the shooters around him,” Head Coach Jay Triano said. “He was our best offensive threat at the time.”

Instead, Isaiah Canaan found Dragan Bender for a straight-away three-pointer. The ball ricocheted off the front of the rim. Warren tipped the ball and Greg Monroe flew for the rebound at the edge of the court. Keeping his feet in bounds, Monroe twisted his body and threw the ball to a wide open Daniels on the three-point line.

“Yeah I knew he was right there,” Monroe said. “I just wanted to make sure I stayed inbounds and try to deliver a pass to him. I knew that everybody went the other way so if I could just get it to him, he would have an open shot.”

This was Monroe’s 12th rebound of the night to go along with his eight points and seven assists.

“He saw me out of his peripheral vision, but it was a crazy pass,” Daniels said. “I’m not used to seeing big men jump out of bounds and save balls like that, but I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.”

Daniels didn’t hesitate and launched the three. Swish.

Troy Daniels Hits Go-Ahead Three to Defeat Grizzlies

“It had to go up,” Daniels said. “We live for moments like this and we work each and every day for moments like this. I just happened to hit the shot”

As for hitting the game-winning shot against his former team…

“It feels great I can tell you that,” Daniels said. “It feels great. I’d rather it be on them than anybody else.”

Defensively the Suns closed out the remaining seconds and walked away with a 97-95 victory over the Grizzlies.

The Suns stay at home as they prepare to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. Catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.