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."
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.
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
^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.