After getting slammed 125-100 by the Memphis Grizzlies at home last week, Bahamian DeAndre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns returned the favor, routing the Grizzlies, 125-108, on Tuesday night, on the road at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, to snap a three-game losing streak.
Ayton notched a double-double in this game and the season series between these two teams is tied at one apiece. Two more games are left in their in-season matchup with both being in January 2023.
The center was able to contribute 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win. He finished the game 6-for-12 from the floor and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the charity stripe. Ayton was able to come away with a block.
The Suns sit in fifth position in the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA) with a 20-15 win/loss record. They are one game behind the third-place Grizzlies who have a 20-13 record on the season.
It was not the start that the Suns wanted as they quickly went down 8-0 in the first three minutes of the game. However, the Suns roared back, taking the lead with Ayton muscling his way down low for a reverse layup to put them up 18-13 with 3:30 left in the firs period. Suns guard Duane Washington Jr., who scored a team-high 23 points, pushed that lead to eight points when he connected on a shot from deep, giving the Suns a 23-15 lead with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
The Grizzlies closed out the quarter on a 7-0 run and the Suns held a slim 23-22 lead at the end of the first quarter.
It was in the second quarter when the Suns imposed their will on the game. They shot the ball at a 68.4 percent clip, going 13-for-19 from the field. They were red hot from deep, connecting on seven of their 10 attempts. They also had three steals in that quarter. The Suns held the Grizzlies to 30.8 percent shooting from the field and the Grizzlies were just 2-for-7 from deep in that quarter. The Suns went into the intermission with a 65-49 lead. The Grizzlies had only three made three-point shots in the first half.
The Suns did not allow the Grizzlies to get too close to them in the second half as they went on to comfortably win the game. Grizzlies guard Ja Morant led all scorers with 34 points on the night.
The Suns were without the services of Landry Shamet, Devin Booker, Cameron Payne and Cam Johnson. Despite that shortage, eight Suns scored in double figures.
This was their second game on a six-game road trip. They lost the first one to the Denver Nuggets 128-125 in overtime on Christmas Day. They were in action against the Washington Wizards last night but no score was available up to press time. The Suns will cross the border and head to Toronto, Canada, to play the Toronto Raptors tomorrow. That game tips off at 7:30 p.m. at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.