The Phoenix Suns are making a habit of long winning streaks.
They’ll try to extend their current run to 10 games when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.
The Grizzlies (9-29) own the NBA’s worst record, while the Suns have the league’s second-best record and may be its hottest team. Phoenix has won nine straight games by an average of 13.2 points, and 27 of its last 30 since a 1-5 start to the season.
That includes a franchise-record 15-game winning streak earlier this season, giving the Suns (28-8) multiple winning streaks of at least nine games in three consecutive seasons.
“We are playing good right now and we are happy about what we are doing,” said Suns forward Boris Diaw, who just missed a triple-double in Phoenix’s 107-101 victory over Orlando on Friday. “We know we have some stuff we still have to work on and we are doing it every day in practice. We are not just happy because we are winning; we try to get better every night.”
Diaw had 19 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds as the Suns wrapped up a five-game homestand with the victory over the Magic. Phoenix shot 53.1 percent against Orlando and has topped 50 percent shooting in three of its last four games.
“I am just really happy with the chemistry and how hard they are playing,” Suns coach Mike D’Antoni said. “The defense won’t always be perfect with certain things but we are shooting 53 percent against Orlando, that’s pretty good.”
Phoenix, which visits Houston on Wednesday, has won three straight road games and 11 of its last 12 there after an 0-4 start to 2006-07 away from home.
The Grizzlies are on the opposite end of the spectrum, having lost consecutive games and 16 of their last 20. Memphis was embarrassed in a 111-66 loss to Chicago on Saturday, posting its largest margin of defeat this season and the third-most lopsided loss in franchise history.
The Grizzlies trailed by 40 points after the third quarter and scored only nine points in the fourth.
“We don’t know what the heck we are doing to be honest with you. A lot of guys are lost. We need to get ourselves together and play as a team,” Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol said. “We were careless. We didn’t have the urge or spirit of competing. That’s the most frustrating thing.”
Memphis shot only 30.4 percent and committed 26 turnovers. The field-goal percentage tied for the third-lowest in franchise history, while the turnovers were the most for the Grizzlies since a team-record 31 in a 102-94 win over Phoenix on Dec. 8, 2002.
“It was a mercy killing tonight,” Memphis coach Tony Barone said. “Will we watch this tape? No. We will not look at it as there is no value to it. If you don’t know the problem after this game without it, there’s certainly no value to viewing it.”
The Suns ended their 1-5 start to the season by beating Memphis 96-87 at home on Nov. 11. The teams have split their last six regular-season meetings, although Phoenix swept Memphis in four games in the first round of the 2005 playoffs.