Jan. 6, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) puts up a shot during the game against the Phoenix Suns in the first half at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Grizzlies Beat Suns, But Struggle In 4th Quarter Again.

If you broke the Memphis Grizzlies’ 2012-2013 season down into portions by months then November would be the climax of the movie. Four years worth of building and molding had finally turned the Grizzlies into a viable championship contender as they owned wins over both of last year’s conference finalists (Miami and Oklahoma City), the team with the best record at the time (New York) and the Lakers.

The Lakers may not actually be all that good in real life, but it’s still a big win in theory.

Still, as the season moved on into December, the Grizzlies’ fates took a sudden downtick as well. The biggest reason that the Grizzlies went from an elite-looking team in November to just a solid team in December was their lack of scoring in the 4th quarter and in the last four minutes to be even more specific.

It was actually something that plagued them during their first round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last season, but something that it appeared that they moved on from in November.

It’s hard to pick out one specific instance as being the worst offense of 4th quarter offense, but Friday night’s home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers was pretty close. Memphis score 84 points for the game, but only 12 points in the 4th quarter.

The same was true on Sunday night in Phoenix, but this time the Grizzlies were able to generate enough points to notch an important road win over the Suns.

Zach Randolph led all players in scoring with 21 points to go with 8 rebounds. 21 points is all well and good, but when you do that on 9-11 shooting then it’s even more impressive.

Rudy Gay also had an efficient 20 points as he hit half of his shots and Marc Gasol posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The win avenged a loss earlier in the season in Phoenix when the Grizzlies were in the midst of a three-game losing streak. Memphis moved to 2-1 against the Suns this season.

The Grizzlies stay out west to play the Sacramento Kings on Monday night in another winnable road game.

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