Devin Booker scored a season-high 40 points, as the Phoenix Suns won their sixth straight game by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 110-89. The Suns improved to 10-6 on the year, while the Grizzlies dropped their third-straight game and fell to 3-12.
Kevin Durant was a late scratch with right foot soreness, as Phoenix played its final NBA In-Season Tournament group play game, needing a win by a decent margin to boost their chances of getting a Wild Card spot in Vegas.
They got just that and now have a point differential of +34 and finish group play with a 3-1 record. Another team that does not win their group will have to have both a 3-1 record and better than this point differential to get the last spot over the Suns.
Booker, who also finished with four steals, went off all night and sparked a 14-0 run to end the first half, which the Suns rode the momentum of in the second. The Grizzlies did cut the lead to six in the third when Booker was not on the floor, but the Suns kept pushing all night and allowed only 40 second-half points.
Jordan Goodwin was the one that really put the game away for Phoenix, as he scored 10-straight points in the fourth quarter. Jusuf Nurkić led the Suns in rebounds (10), assists (6) and blocks (2). Eric Gordon had 20 points, including four three-pointers.
Memphis’ 89 total points wre the fewest the Suns have allowed this season by far.
The full team stats aren’t that jarring, but for the second-straight game, the Suns attacked the paint and shot 28 free throws compared to only 10 by the Grizzlies. They held Memphis to 9-for-33 (27.3%) shooting from deep. Desmond Bane, the Grizzlies’ leading scorer on the year, had only six points and shot 0-for-5 from three. Santi Aldama led Memphis with 21 points