The Phoenix Suns are the most surprising team in the 2013-2014 NBA Season. Pegged as lottery-bound, Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and the rest of the upstart Suns can put an exclamation point on their efforts so far if they make the postseason.
To do that they’ll need help from the Memphis Grizzlies, who are battling them for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Suns meet the Grizz on Monday night and a Memphis win sends Marc Gasol and Mike Conley to the playoffs and a Phoenix win will allow the Suns to live for another day.
Memphis holds the tiebreaker between these two teams—the Suns need to win over the Sacramento Kings their final game of the regular season and hope that the Grizzlies lose theirs against the Mavs team.
The Grizzlies treated the Suns to a 110-91 blowout in teams’ first meeting on December 2 and took the last two, 99-91 and 104-99 in January.
The Suns are one of the highest scoring teams in the league averaging 105.4 points per game—7th in the NBA. The Grizzlies meanwhile have one of the toughest defenses in the league allowing only 94.5 PPG—3rd best.
Owing to a tougher schedule, the Suns have faded late losing to Texas teams Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs in their last two games.
Bledsoe had 29 points on 11 of 15 shooting in the costly loss to the Mavericks, which clinched a playoff spot with the win. Goran Dragic missed 12 of 18 shots to finish with only 13 points with 4 assists
Memphis has won three in a row including the last two against lottery-bound teams Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.
Marc Gasol had 18 markers and 15 rebounds in the 102-90 win over the Lakers while Mike Conley finished with 24 points and 8 assists for the Grizzlies.
Watch this crucial match-up between the Grizzlies and Suns via NBA League Pass.