Suns 82, Grizzlies 80By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Thu, Dec 13, 2012 12:00 AM EST
PHOENIX -- Goran Dragic scored 12 points, including the game-winning basket on a left-handed baby hook with seven-tenths of a second left, and the Phoenix Suns snapped their longest losing streak in eight years in dramatic fashion with an 82-80 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown had 15 points each for the Suns, who had dropped seven straight games dating back to a Nov. 27 win at Cleveland. The win allowed Phoenix (8-15) to remain with the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs as the only NBA teams without an eight-game losing streak over the past eight years. Rudy Gay had 21 points to lead Memphis (14-5). His turnaround 16-footer tied the game at 80 with 46.8 seconds left. Dudley and Gay each missed chances to give their teams the lead before Dragic stopped in the paint, twirled and hooked a shot around Memphis center Marc Gasol for the winning basket. Zach Randolph, who had 38 points and 22 rebounds against the Suns eight days ago in an overtime win in Memphis, finished with 18 points and 10 boards Wednesday. He was very quiet after scoring 10 of the Grizzlies' first 19 points and helping his team to a quick eight-point lead. The Suns took their biggest lead of the night at 80-76 on Marcin Gortat's basket with 4:02 left, but Phoenix grinded its way home with several missed chances. Gay's reverse dunk with 3:49 left pulled Memphis within two, and his jumper got the Grizzlies even, setting up Dragic's heroics. The Phoenix offense struggled in the first quarter (8-for-22 from the field), and reserve Michael Beasley missed nine of 11 shots in a nine-minute stretch before sitting for the rest of the game. Down 36-27 with nine minutes left, the Suns dialed up their running game and used an 18-8 run to get back in the game, with Brown, Markieff Morris and Dudley combining for 13 of the points. Phoenix took its first lead since early in the first quarter at 56-55 on a Dudley jumper with seven minutes left in the third period. The teams were never more than four points apart the rest of the way. NOTES: The struggling Suns made another change in the starting lineup, with veteran Luis Scola starting over Morris and drawing the initial defensive assignment on Zach Randolph. "That's just coach's instinct," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "I don't want to see Morris get two quick fouls. I want to be able to use him in the first and second quarters." ... Randolph's 30-20 game last week was just the fourth by a Suns opponent in Phoenix franchise history, joining efforts by a trio of Hall of Famers -- Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob Lanier ... The Suns welcomed P.J. Tucker back to action after missing two games with a knee sprain, and he played 10 scoreless minutes. ... Dragic returned after a bout with the flu, but Gentry said he wasn't back to normal yet. ... The Grizzlies have won just six of 34 games in Phoenix.
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