EditorsNote: 4th graf, replace ‘m’ with comma after ‘24 points’
Wayne Selden and Shelvin Mack came off the Memphis bench to spark a 19-3 run to start the second quarter and the Grizzlies went on to defeat the visiting Phoenix Suns 117-96 on Saturday night.
Selden scored eight points and Mack added six as the Grizzlies opened up a 45-21 lead in the first four minutes of the period. A Jamal Crawford 3-pointer accounted for the only points scored by the Suns during the Grizzlies’ run.
Marc Gasol led five Grizzlies in double figures with 19 points. MarShon Brooks provided an important lift off the bench with 18 points. Mike Conley also recorded 18 points and seven assists. Garrett Temple notched 15 points and Selden finished with 14 for Memphis.
Rookie Deandre Ayton led the Suns with 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists as Phoenix has lost four straight, all by at least 18 points.
The Suns were without starting guard Devin Booker and his 27.8 points and 6.8 assists per game.
Ayton was questionable with soreness in his right ankle, but the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft started and made his presence felt immediately, connecting on a 19-foot jumper for the Suns’ first points of the game.
But those were Ayton’s only points of the quarter as Memphis outscored the Suns 18-8 over the final five minutes to take a 26-18 lead entering the second period.
Ayton’s Memphis counterpart, Gasol, dominated the rookie in the first 12 minutes, scoring nine points, grabbing three rebounds and recording three steals.
But Ayton came back in the second period and showed why he was the overall top pick. The rookie from Arizona went 6-for-6 in the period and led all scorers with 14 points at the half.
For the game, Ayton finished making 12 of 13 field-goal attempts, and he did not commit a turnover in 33 minutes of action.
The Grizzlies shot a sizzling 61.4 percent from the field in the first half as they took a 68-43 into intermission.
Phoenix connected on 48.6 percent of its field-goal attempts in the opening half. But the Suns were outscored on the fast break 11-0, were outrebounded 19-14 and committed 12 turnovers.
For the game the Grizzlies connected on 55.7 percent of their shots, compared to 46.2 percent for Phoenix.
—Field Level Media