The Phoenix Suns welcomed the Memphis Grizzlies to the US Airways Center Friday night. After a four-game run of playoff teams from last season to start the new season, Memphis sounded like just what the doctor ordered. The Grizzlies were far from the easy win they have been over the past few years as they took the Suns into double overtime in a cliffhanger of a game. Phoenix won the barnburner 123-118 in a game full of drama and clutch shooting.
The Suns showed amazing resiliency after trailing most of the game and headed toward what looked like a certain loss down by two with .4 seconds remaining on the clock. Grant Hill threw a great alley-oop to a cutting Jason Richardson who tapped in the pass as the buzzer sounded sending the game into overtime. Richardson had 38 poimts. 8 rebounds and 3 assists while Steve Nash poured in 25 points, 9 assists and 3 rebounds to lead the Suns. Perhaps even more amazingly, Hedo Turkoglu finally decided to show up as he knocked down 5 of 10 from three-point range. Turkoglu had 18 points and 5 rebounds, his best showing by far in a Suns uniform.
The Suns bench deserves a lot of credit for keeping the Suns in the game. Every time the Memphis starters hit the bench, the Suns reserves closed the deficit with speed and defense. For the first time this season, the Suns outrebounded the opposition. The Suns were +7 in that department, gathering 55 to the Grizzlies 48 and they had 21 offensive rebounds to 16 for the Grizzlies. The Suns also had more assists than Memphis as they finally pulled out a close game, even if it did take two overtimes. This team is finally starting to find a rhythm. The first few games of the season were hotly contested battles where the Suns could not close the show. Jason Richardson has emerged as the go-to guy in the clutch. The Suns are finding themselves and Suns fans have renewed reason for optimism.