MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The short-handed Memphis Grizzlies made
good use of their healthy players.
Jason Williams scored 19 points to lead seven Grizzlies in
double figures and lift Memphis over the Phoenix Suns 108-97
Tuesday night for their third straight win.
Playing without forwards Pau Gasol and James Posey, who are on
the injured list, and reserve point guard Earl Watson and guard
Bonzi Wells, Memphis shot 12-of-22 from 3-point range to end the
Suns' five-game winning streak. It marked the first time the Suns
have been held under 100 points since an 88-79 win over the
Grizzlies Jan. 19.
"I am happy for the group of guys," Memphis coach Mike
Fratello said. "They hung in there and found contributions from
everyone. We had seven guys score in double figures, and we were
really sharing the ball. We were even staying with (Phoenix) on the
Dahntay Jones, starting only his second game of the year, scored
17 points, while Stromile Swift finished with 16. Lorenzen Wright
scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Jones and little-used
rookie point guard Antonio Burks, who had a career high with 10
points, hit all six of their shots from beyond the arc.
"Jones usually shoots 27 percent off the 3-pointers, and we
tried to get him to do that early on," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni
said. "I suppose that wasn't such a good idea."
Suns guard Steve Nash was ejected for arguing with 3:05 left and
the Grizzlies leading 100-92. Nash screamed at referee Jack Nies
after his shot was blocked by Swift. Nash was given a technical and
then ejected after he continued his tirade. It was the first time
he has been ejected in his career. In fact, he couldn't remember
getting tossed all the way back to high school.
"I told (Nies): 'That's a foul' with an expletive, then comma:
'What the expletive is going on out here," Nash said. "I didn't
have time, I thought, to get two technicals. I was in the middle of
my first sentence, and he had already given me two. It was pretty
quick on the trigger."
Joe Johnson led the Suns with 30 points, hitting 11 of 18 shots,
while Amare Stoudemire added 22 points and 19 rebounds. Shawn
Marion scored 15 points and had 14 boards.
After Nash's ejection, Memphis built the lead to double digits,
and Phoenix got no closer than seven the rest of the way.
The Suns' strength showed early. Nash had five assists on
Phoenix's first seven baskets. Stoudemire registered a
double-double -- his 13th of the season -- by the midway point of the
second period. Marion grabbed his 4,000th career rebound before
Yet, the Suns held only a 49-45 lead at the half.
The Suns opened the final period by extending a third-quarter
run to 19-5 and erased a 13-point Memphis lead.
But Memphis began hitting 3-pointers, including Burks, who hit
two long-range jumpers as Williams was waiting to enter the game as
"I don't know if he was on the Phoenix Suns' scouting report,"
Shane Battier said laughing. "I don't think he's on anyone's
scouting report. But efforts like that have been huge for us all
Fratello on Tuesday was named Western Conference coach of
the month for January. Fratello, who took over the team Dec. 2
after the retirement of Hubie Brown, directed the Grizzlies to an
12-3 mark in January. D'Antoni won the honor in December. ...The
Grizzlies are 16-3 since Christmas Day. ... Marion's fourth rebound
in the second period gave him 4,000 in his career, only the second
Suns player to achieve the milestone. Alvan Adams had 6,937 in his
career with Phoenix. ... Wells has a left leg sprain, while Watson
has a right shoulder sprain. Both are day to day. ... Burks saw his
first action since coming off the injured list Jan. 29.