Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/23

Game 1: Thursday, December 23rd
Game 2: Wednesday, January 19th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 1st
Game 4: Sunday, March 20th

Suns 97

(49-16, 26-7 away)

Grizzlies 91

(38-28, 22-11 home)

    2:30 PM ET, March 20, 2005

    FedExForum, Memphis, TN

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 26 25 28 1897
    MEM 24 25 24 1891

    Top Performers

    PHX: J. Johnson 28 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Mem: S. Battier 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Nash contributes 13 assists and 13 points in win

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Joe Johnson depended on Steve Nash finding him in the open.

    Johnson took a pass from Nash and hit a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 97-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

    Johnson ended up with 28 points to lead all scorers, while Nash had 13 points and 13 assists.

    "I had a lot of confidence tonight. I just came out and played as hard as I can," Johnson said. "I just read Steve Nash on pick and rolls and try to make myself available, because he will find the open man."

    The Suns also got 18 points from Quentin Richardson and 15 from Amare Stoudemire. Johnson was 10-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-5 shooting on 3-pointers.

    But Phoenix scored fewer than 100 points for the first time in 17 games, and had 21 turnovers to match its season high.

    Stoudemire gave Memphis credit for a scrappy game, "and they almost pulled it out."

    "They want to have the score kept low," he said. "Every time I got the ball, I was getting triple teamed. Every time I get triple teamed, then there is an open man. I tried to find the open man and they hit some shots."

    The Grizzlies' Pau Gasol, the team's leading scorer, played 12 minutes on his return from missing 23 games because of a hurt foot. He had four points and one rebound.

    Memphis was led by Shane Battier with 20 points, Lorenzen Wright with 19, Mike Miller with 15 and Jason Williams with 14.

    After Johnson hit his 3-pointer in the final seconds, Miller hit a 3-pointer for Memphis to put the score at 94-91. Nash hit two free throws and then added one more foul shot to close the game.

    The Suns had 32 points on fast breaks by the third quarter, tying their season high, but had none in the final period. Memphis had seven fast-break points and 14 turnovers.

    "What really hurt us was our transition defense," said Memphis coach Mike Fratello. "We gave up 32 points in transition and that's something that hasn't happened in a long time. I don't think that we were in synch at all out there."

    Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said the Grizzlies put up a fight.

    "They dive for loose balls. They hustle and they play as hard as they can," he said. "We didn't have a good night offensively because their defense is so good."

    The Suns ended the third period up 79-73 following a 15-6 run that included a dunk by Richardson, an alley-oop by Marion and a slam by Stoudemire.

    At the half, Phoenix led 51-49 after trailing by seven points, 35-28, midway through the second quarter following a 9-0 run by Memphis.< ^Notes: Phoenix is 30-9 overall against the Grizzlies. For this season, the Grizzlies and Suns are 2-2. ... The Suns' Marion got his 41st double-double of the season while Nash got his 39th. ... Memphis' Battier and Wright both hit on their first six field goal attempts. ... When activating Gasol, the Grizzlies put Ryan Humphrey on the injured list with a strained left groin. ... Walter McCarty was sidelined for Phoenix with back spasms.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 91
    FGM-FGA 37-76 (.487) 37-82 (.451)
    3PM-3PA 8-19 (.421) 6-24 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 15-18 (.833) 11-14 (.786)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-47 5-30
    Assists 20 20
    Turnovers 21 14
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 6 4
    Fast Break Points 32 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (1/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 7

    Top Performers

    Joe Johnson Johnson
    Points: 28
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Shane Battier Battier
    Points: 20
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1