Memphis got off to an impressive 13-5 start, but has dropped three in a row since, including Wednesday’s 94-79 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Over their first 18 games, the Grizzlies shot 45 percent and held opponents to 42 percent from the field. During its skid, however, Memphis is allowing 45 percent shooting while making just 37 percent of its shots. The Grizzlies are also getting beaten on the boards by an average of 10 rebounds per game.
“There are a lot of things that we have to make right,” Memphis’ Mike Miller said. “That’s our job as professional athletes to go in and make changes. We have to come out and play harder.”
Leading scorer Pau Gasol’s recent struggles haven’t helped either.
The 7-footer averaged 19.2 points, 48.3-percent shooting, 9.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.4 blocks through the first 18 games. He’s experienced a significant decline over the past three contests, averaging just 11.3 points, 30.5-percent shooting, 9.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 blocks.
“We still have to use him the same way,” Grizzlies guard Eddie Jones said of Gasol. “So what he hasn’t made those shots in the paint. He needs to keep taking them. He’s the reason we won six (games) in a row. He’s going to be the reason we get back on track.”
The Suns snapped a three-game losing streak with Friday’s 101-=88 victory at New Orleans as Eddie House scored 26 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter.
House didn’t score in the third quarter, but fueled the Suns’ decisive run with his 3-point shooting in the 12 minutes, when Phoenix outscored New Orleans 37-10.