EditorsNote: Fixes typo (least sted last) in sixth graf
Jonas Valanciunas scored 14 of his career-best 34 points in the fourth quarter and also collected 20 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies posted a 120-115 road win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
Mike Conley added 33 points for Memphis, which survived 48 points by Phoenix’s Devin Booker. The Suns’ star was 19-of-29 shooting while looking for his third straight 50-point game after scoring 59 and 50 in his previous two games.
Justin Holiday scored 14 points, Bruno Caboclo added 12 and Tyler Dorsey and Delon Wright had 11 points apiece for Memphis.
Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns before leaving with a sprained left ankle with 3:03 left in the third quarter. The rookie center exited shortly after scoring a basket and noticeably expressed his anguish on the way back upcourt.
Mikal Bridges and Josh Jackson added 10 points for the Suns, who have lost six straight games and eight of their past nine.
Booker has scored 25 or more points in 10 straight games, one shy of the franchise record set by Amar’e Stoudemire in the 2007-08 season. Per the team, Booker is the first player in Suns history to score at least 40 points in three straight games.
The Suns shot 53.1 percent from the field, including 12 of 28 from 3-point range.
Memphis shot 46.1 percent from the field and was 8 of 25 from behind the arc.
The Grizzlies trailed by as many as 18 in the first half but whittled away at the deficit and moved within 92-91 on Conley’s basket with 9:55 remaining. Conley drained two free throws 61 seconds later to knot the score at 95, and Delon Wright followed with a go-ahead 3-pointer with 8:06 left.
Phoenix answered with a 9-3 run, taking a 104-101 lead on Jamal Crawford’s 3-pointer with 6:15 left.
Memphis moved back ahead at 109-106 on Conley’s 3-pointer with 3:56 remaining.
A layup by Valanciunas pushed the lead to 112-106 with 2:03 left, and he made another 23 seconds later as the Grizzlies took a 114-107 lead.
Dragan Bender’s 3-pointer pulled Phoenix within 116-112 with 1:03 left.
With Booker needing two points on the Suns’ last possession, Memphis double-teamed him and trapped him near half court, with Holiday stealing the ball with 1.5 seconds left to prevent Booker’s third straight 50-point outing.
Booker began his latest big game by scoring 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting in the first quarter. He had 28 at the half as the Suns led 62-54 at the break.
Booker scored 14 on 6-of-9 shooting in the third quarter as Phoenix took a 92-88 lead into the final stanza.
—Field Level Media