Suns Look for Another Win vs Memphis

Although they have already won the Pacific Division title, the Phoenix Suns seem to be letting up as the season winds down.

The Suns appear to be hosting the ideal opponent Monday night as they look to shore up their play when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies - owners of the NBA's worst record.

Phoenix (52-17) has lost three out of five and is trying to avoid its second set of back-to-back losses this month.

Oddsmakers have made Phoenix -15 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 224.5 total points (View NBA Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 75% of bets for this game have been placed on Phoenix -15 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

After beating Sacramento at home by 18 points on Thursday, the Suns lost to the Kings 107-100 on Sunday.

The Suns also suffered losses to Detroit and Denver on March 16-17.

Phoenix is the highest-scoring team in the league at 110.1 points per game, but managed only 20 in the fourth quarter on Sunday. Steve Nash had 18 points and nine assists, but the two-time league MVP also committed seven of the team's 13 turnovers.

The Suns had a five-point lead early in the fourth quarter before they allowed the Kings to get hot in the final period and hand Phoenix just its third loss in 12 division games.

"That's why you have to knock them out early because they have the capability to catch up when they need to," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We just didn't play well. ... We just have to get back on track from now on."

Leandro Barbosa led the team with 27 points while Amare Stoudemire had 23 points and 11 rebounds.

The Suns own the NBA's second-best record behind Dallas and have wrapped up the sixth division title in franchise history, but they would prefer to go into the playoffs with some momentum.

"It's time to get it done - no ifs, ands or buts," Stoudemire said. "It's just flat-out time to get it done. We can't make any excuses. Regardless of who played well or who didn't, we've got to tighten up."

The Grizzlies (17-53) have lost eight of their last 11 visits to Phoenix since the franchise moved to Memphis in 2001.

This is the second contest of a six-game road trip for the Grizzlies, who are a league-worst 5-29 on the road. Memphis has lost three straight, including a 118-108 defeat to the Utah Jazz on Saturday.

Dahntay Jones scored a career-high 26 points off the bench and Pau Gasol had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which has shot over 50 percent in every game of its slide. Rookie Tarence Kinsey added a career-high 20 points.

While scoring hasn't been a problem recently, Memphis remains the league's worst defensive team by allowing opponents to shoot 48.6 percent.

Kinsey's performance was a bright spot in a difficult season for the young Grizzlies, who used five players Saturday with less than two full years of experience in the NBA. He logged 30 minutes for only the third time this season.

"Tarence should be playing more anyway. We're a little hamstrung as to why we don t play him and that will end after tonight. Period," coach Tony Barone said. "He took the ball and dunked over (Utah's Andrei) Kirilenko and we don't have anybody on our team that even tries to do that."

The Suns are 2-0 against the Grizzlies this season.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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