Mike Miller had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Gasol also scored 14 points to help the Grizzlies snap their longest losing streak of the season with a 91-87 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
“I wanted to start out more aggressive and make my first two or three shots for a change,” said Gasol, who was averaging 11.3 points during the losing streak. “I just haven’t been as sharp and as confident as I usually am. I was missing too many easy shots and too many close shots to the rim that I normally would finish with more authority.”
Phoenix lost for the fourth time in its last five.
The Suns erased the advantage with an 11-0 run and tied it at 82 on Steve Nash’s drive with 2:37 left.
But a block by Miller led to Eddie Jones’ dunk, and Damon Stoudamire’s 20-footer with just over a minute left gave Memphis the lead for good at 88-84. Nash’s 3-pointer with 14 seconds left cut it to 89-87, but the Suns could get no closer.
“We tied it up there with a minute or so left in the game, but we just ran out of juice,” said Suns forward Shawn Marion, who had 16 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks. “… When you’re tired, shots stop falling. The ball takes a little longer to get up there, and the ball starts getting heavier and heavier.”
Shane Battier added 13 points for Memphis, while Eddie Jones and Antonio Burks had 12 each—a career high for Burks, who is getting more playing time because of an injury to backup guard Bobby Jackson.
“(The Suns) were going under the screens, and I was just pulling up and making shots,” Burks said. “I was feeling good once I made a couple of layups, so everything just fell into place.”
Phoenix was hampered by 38-percent shooting and 17 turnovers, leading to 18 Memphis points. The Grizzlies had five turnovers, a season-low for Memphis. The Suns’ 87 points was 15 points below their league-leading 102.6 per game. But with a short bench due to injuries and coming from behind to defeat New Orleans on Friday night, Phoenix wasn’t as sharp.
“It certainly isn’t easy. This is our ninth game in 13 days with a very limited bench,” Nash said. “I thought we were still pretty enthused down the stretch, but we didn’t make the plays.”
Battier returned to action after missing a game because of a jammed right index finger. … Jackson missed his third straight game with a right hamstring injury. … The Suns did not shoot a free throw in the first three quarters. Diaw was the first Sun to go to the line, hitting one of two free throws with 10:46 remaining. They finished the game 3-of-4 from the line, setting a franchise record for fewest free throws attempted in a game and tying the mark for fewest made. … Phoenix outrebounded Memphis 60-45, including 19 offensive boards, leading to 18 second-chance points. … Miller’s 14 points and 11 rebounds was his first double-double of the season.