NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 14th (All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (48-32) at Phoenix Suns (47-33), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns will jump it up Monday night at US Airways Center in a huge game with massive playoff implications.
The Grizzlies have won three straight and are one game clear of the Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. If Memphis wins on Monday, the Grizz make the postseason, but if Phoenix prevails, the two teams will be tied with one game remaining.
On Wednesday, the Grizzlies host the Dallas Mavericks and the Suns visit Sacramento to take on the Kings. If Memphis wins on Monday, they will be tied for the seventh spot with Dallas, making that game on Wednesday huge.
The Grizzlies put themselves in the driver's seat with a 102-90 victory Sunday in Los Angeles over the Lakers.
"At the end of the day, we got the win that we needed, and that's the most important thing moving on to Phoenix," Grizzlies head coach David Joerger said.
Mike Conley scored 24 points and handed out eight assists to lead the Grizzlies. Marc Gasol totaled 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Mike Miller chimed in with 13 points off the Grizzlies' bench.
Zach Randolph and Courtney Lee both had 10 points for Memphis, which shot 53.3 percent from long range.
The Grizzlies made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season before getting swept by the San Antonio Spurs.
The Suns are trying to get back into the postseason for the first time since the 2009-10 season. That team lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals and this incarnation of the Suns has defied the naysayers who thought they were at the bottom of the talent pool.
Things have gotten tough for the Suns lately. Phoenix has dropped two straight, although both were on the road and both were against playoff-bound teams in the Oklahoma City Thunder and Mavericks.
The Dallas loss came on Saturday night when the Mavs topped the Suns, 101-98. That win got the Mavericks back into the postseason, but it was a tough loss for Phoenix, which had a 13-point lead in the second half.
"We are still going to fight until the end. We have two games left and hopefully we can win the next game against Memphis and if so, anything is possible," said Suns guard Goran Dragic.
Eric Bledsoe tallied 29 points, six assists and four steals, while Channing Frye poured in 21 points for Phoenix. Dragic finished with 13 and those three were the only double-digit scorers for the Suns.
The Grizzlies have swept the three meetings this season and are 6-2 in the last eight against the Suns. Memphis has won two in a row in Phoenix, but is just 4-11 in its last 15 as the visitor in this series.
04/14 10:22:06 ET