The Memphis Grizzlies (48-32) are on the road for a second consecutive night to face off against the Phoenix Suns (47-33) which will be the most important game of the year for both teams.
Phoenix which has lost two straight to San Antonio and Dallas after holding double digit leads in the second half of each game is on the verge of being eliminated from postseason contention if beaten by the Grizzlies on Monday Night. Meanwhile, The Grizzlies have won 3 games in a row against Miami, Philadelphia and last night against the Lakers.
A Grizzlies win over the Suns would clinch a playoff berth for Memphis sending them to their 4th consecutive postseason appearance. That would be the longest postseason streak for the Grizzlies franchise since moving to Memphis. Their longest streak was from 2004-2006.
Memphis is coming off of a 102-90 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday Night. Mike Conley was phenomenal for the Grizzlies as he scored 24 points (9-12 fg). The Grizzlies struggled early allowing the Lakers to jump out to a 39-30 lead. The Grizzlies went on a 13-0 run capped by 9 straight stops on the defensive end. Memphis would take a 53-52 lead into halftime.
Conley set the tone in the 3rd quarter, as the Grizzlies outscored Los Angeles 34-17. The defense picked up after allowing The Lakers to shoot 53% in the 1st half, and they ended up shooting 44% for the game. The Grizzlies led 87-69 after the 3rd quarter and were able to coast to victory with their backups in for most of the 4th.
Memphis has defeated Phoenix in all 3 matchups this season. Those victories included a 110-91 victory on December 3rd, a 99-91 victory in Phoenix on January 2nd, and the latest a 104-99 win over the Suns in Memphis on January 10th.
Marc Gasol has missed all three matchups this season, so the Grizzlies should fare well against a small Suns front court. The Suns can score at any time, as Memphis almost blew an 18 point lead in their only matchup in Phoenix on January 2nd.