National Basketball Association
Suns-Grizzlies Preview
National Basketball Association

Suns-Grizzlies Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 2:47 p.m. ET

The Memphis Grizzlies have thrived even with a pair of starters missing but couldn't get past the lowly Phoenix Suns last weekend.

That's the only sub-.500 team in the past six weeks to beat the Grizzlies, who will try to turn the tables when the teams meet again Sunday in Memphis.

The Grizzlies (37-24) are 7-2 since losing top scorer Marc Gasol for the rest of the season to a broken foot. They've also played the last seven games without their top defender, swingman Tony Allen (sore knee).

Zach Randolph provided 25 points - one shy of his season high - and grabbed four of his eight rebounds in the final 30 seconds Friday in their third straight win, 94-88 over Utah.


"Every night's going to be like that because we're short-handed," said Randolph, whose team is 4-0 at home during Gasol's absence. "Everybody has written us off and said we don't have a chance. That we might not make the playoffs, so it's definitely a challenge."

That seems unlikely with the Grizzlies entrenched in the Western Conference's top five after going 12-4 since Jan. 25 - only Golden State and San Antonio have fewer losses in that span. Memphis' only defeat during that stretch to a team not in playoff position was Saturday's 111-106 loss in Phoenix.

Alex Len had 22 points and 16 rebounds as the Suns ended a 13-game losing streak, which matched a single-season franchise record, and an eight-game slide against Memphis.

Len had a career-high 31 points and 15 boards Friday as Phoenix (16-46) ended a franchise record-tying 17-game road skid with a 102-84 victory over Orlando. It was the first time in 10 games they held an opponent below 105 points.

"We're trying to get better every day, play consistent because sometimes we'll win then the next game we'll lose by 20 or 30," said Len, averaging 19.0 points and 11.9 rebounds in his last seven games. "We have just have to play consistent, bring effort and try to get better. The rest is going to take care of itself."

The Suns have lost four straight in Memphis but came close in the last two, falling 95-93 on Dec. 6 on a last-second basket and in double overtime last season. The Grizzlies have won 16 of 19 at home.

Randolph will try to keep Phoenix from earning back-to-back road wins for the first time in exactly one year while improving on his 19.1-point average in the last 11 games. He was averaging 13.8 points in his first 45 contests.

Randolph and Conley each had a team-high 19 points last weekend in Phoenix but combined to shoot 12 for 31. Conley shot below 38 percent for the third time in four games with his 4-of-13 performance Friday.

Conley is averaging 19.7 points, including 41.0 percent from 3-point range, in his last nine games against Phoenix. Only his 20.1 scoring average against Dallas is higher versus one opponent in the past three seasons.


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