The undermanned Phoenix Suns (20-15) came out on top over the slumping Memphis Grizzlies (20-13), 125-108. With three of their best guards sidelined with injuries, Duane Washington Jr. stepped up and led the Suns with his career-high of 26 points while adding eight assists. The Suns get quick revenge after their 125-100 loss against the Griz last December 24.
“It felt good, man,” Washington stated. “I’ve been working my tail off. I’ve just been believing in myself. Coaches believe in me. My teammates believe in me.”
This also marks the end of the Suns’ three-game losing streak as they fall short against the Denver Nuggets in a thrilling Christmas day showdown.
Suns Backup Step Up
It was an unlikely win for Phoenix, so many turnovers and yet they still emerge victorious?
More remarkable is that the Suns weren’t known to be a proficient three-point shooting team but managed to make 17 of 31 shots helped guide them to victory. With the suns scoring at least 125 points in 3 out of their past 4 games, it’s evident that this team has come into form and could be ready for a deep run in the playoffs.
This game also saw every active player from Phoenix obtaining court time, cementing the depths of their roster which will prove valuable when key players get injured or fatigued from playing too many minutes in back-to-back matches. They may have been missing several key players due to injury, but they managed to fight hard against the Memphis Grizzlies, ultimately finishing with a 111-94 win.
The absence of Devin Booker, Landry Shamet, Cameron Payne, and Cam Johnson appeared to only fuel the intensity of their play as eight Suns scored double digits.
Jock Landale step up with his 16 points while Deandre Ayton contributed 15 points and 10 boards. Veteran Chris Paul shouldered his share of the load too; he threw in 14 points and six assists for good measure.
The Sun covered the spread in DraftKings Arizona sportsbook, while the total has gone “under”.
Grizzlies Aren’t Fine in the West
The Memphis Grizzlies 20-13 record reveals their growing talent, yet their recent match against the Phoenix Suns demonstrated that their challenge of staying at the top of the West won’t come easily. Ja Morant powered through with 34 points and 6 assists, however, his efforts seem to have been for naught.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, and Dillon Brooks pulled in a combined 25 points with poor shooting nights at 32%, overshadowing Morant’s efforts. This is a sign that despite the Grizzlies’ tremendous depth they could be at risk of falling off without consistent energy and powerful performances from more than just Morant.
This comes after Morant’s statement that he is fine with the west and that the only team that would hinder their road to the championship was the Boston Celtics (25-10)
The Phoenix Suns will visit the Washington Wizards (14-21) tomorrow, but Chris Paul’s presence may be questionable after suffering a left calf injury and returning to the bench with an ice pack on his leg. Due to this, the Suns open as 1-point favorites only on DraftKings sportsbook while the moneyline is at -120.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will visit Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors (15-19) tomorrow and try to end their two-game losing skid.