Grizzlies 92, Suns 81

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX - Zach Randolph had 21 points and Rudy Gay added 20 as the Memphis Grizzlies avenged a two-point loss in Phoenix last month with a 92-81 win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

Randolph, who leads the NBA in double-doubles with 22, failed to get his third double-double in three meetings with the Suns this season and settled for eight rebounds. Marc Gasol notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis (21-10), which held the slumping Suns to 39 percent shooting and piled up 19 fastbreak points to just one for Phoenix.

The Suns have now lost eight of their last nine games and 16 of the last 20 as they embark on a four-game Eastern road trip beginning Tuesday in Milwaukee

P.J. Tucker led the Suns in scoring with a career-high 17 points and was one of only two Suns (Jermaine O'Neal was the other) to hit at least half of his shots in the game.

The Suns are 5-21 when allowing an opponent to score at least 90 points.

The Suns trailed by 12 at 71-59 in the final seconds of the third quarter, but Tucker's three-pointer right before the buzzer and Markieff Morris' three-point play 31 seconds into the fourth inched Phoenix to within six at 71-65. But the Suns got no closer, and the Grizzlies stretched their lead to as many as 16 points.

Randolph, who returned to the lineup after a one-game absence due to flu-like symptoms, had seven points and four rebounds as the Grizzlies led by 21-16 at the end of the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Suns, who managed just 49 points in the final three quarters of an 87-80 loss to Utah on Friday, missed 16 of 21 shots in the quarter and got six of their 16 points from the line.

Memphis pushed their lead to nine at 37-28 when Gay capped a 12-4 run with a driving layup for a 37-28 lead, the Grizzlies biggest of the first half. But the Suns answered right back with seven straight points and Luis Scola's driving layup brought the Suns back within two with 1:29 left.

NOTES: The Grizzlies had their struggles with the Suns in the first two meetings this season - winning in overtime in Memphis (Dec. 4) and losing by two in Phoenix on Dec. 20. Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said teams like the Suns that can play small lineups continue to give his team trouble. ... Randolph missed Friday's loss in Portland with flu-like symptoms but missing a game against Phoenix is difficult - he's had big games against the Suns, including a 38-point, 22-rebound effort on Dec. 4. ... The Suns came into the game 28-6 all-time against the Grizzlies at home. That winning percentage (.824) was the best against any team in the league. ... Marcin Gortat came into the game with three straight double-double efforts and four in the last five. ... Phoenix now has four games in five nights on the road with stops in Milwaukee, Boston, Brooklyn and Chicago before returning home to face Oklahoma City on Jan. 14.
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