MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Dillon Brooks scored 30 points and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Phoenix Suns 122-114 Friday night in a clash of the NBA’s top two teams, extending their winning streak to seven.
Brooks converted a three-point play with 32 seconds left for an eight-point lead and the shorthanded Grizzlies held on to snap the Suns’ nine-game winning streak. Ziaire Williams scored 19 points for Memphis and De’Anthony Melton added 17, including six consecutive free throws in the final 20 seconds.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 41 points, while Mikal Bridges added 18. Cameron Payne finished with 11 for Phoenix.
The game turned into a trade run early in the fourth until Memphis went on a 17-2 run to give the Grizzlies a 101-87 lead just before the halfway point of the period.
The Suns clinched the top seed and the Grizzlies runner-up in the Western Conference. Memphis secured its top seed with Wednesday’s win at San Antonio and took the opportunity Friday to let some players ease some pain or deal with past injuries.
In addition to top scorer Ja Morant, who has missed the last seven games with right knee pain, guard Desmond Bane (left ankle pain), center Steven Adams (left calf pain), Tyus Jones (left hand pain) and forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (right thigh injury management), all took time off.
Meanwhile, the Suns came in with their full roster of starters, plus JaVale McGee and Cameron Johnson, the latter of whom missed the previous 13 games with a right quad contusion.
Early on, the Grizzlies came out fast, building the lead up to 16 in the first quarter as the Suns missed all four 3-pointers in the first quarter. But Phoenix managed to take the lead, eventually shooting 51% in the half, although the Grizzlies never gave up the lead and were leading 54-50 at the break.
Phoenix took the lead in the front third, but Memphis took an 84-83 lead in the fourth.
Suns: Had an eight-game road winning streak … Hadn’t lost a road game against a Western Conference opponent since Dec. 13 at the Clippers. … Chris Paul had 11 assists. DeAndre Ayton grabbed 12 rebounds.
Grizzlies: Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins got two quick technicals and was ejected with 4:12 left in the second quarter, thanks to official Natalie Sago. Before things were completely settled, Brooks also got a technician. … Needs two wins to set a new franchise mark for wins in a season. The 2012-13 team finished 56-26. …With Adams taking his evening, Xavier Tillman started his first game of the season.
Suns: Head to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder on Sunday
Grizzlies: At Utah on Tuesday.
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