This Phoenix Suns road trip out East can't end soon enough after a 108-98 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday night. Heading home after a 1-5 trip, the Suns now have the added pressure of having to satisfy the crowd at the US Airways Center Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks, on TNT no less.
It's an 8:30 p.m. start on Satisfaction Guaranteed Night, whereby the fans can get their money back if not fully satisfied with their experience at the game. The Suns are bound to lose some money on this promotion, but a win would lessen the sting.
No doubt the franchise knows what it is doing. And so did the basketball team, for roughly three quarters and all but the final 16 seconds or so of regulation time. The Suns led by as many as 16 points and had the Grizzlies (13-3) befuddled during the second quarter. But Phoenix (7-12), despite a bucket and steal by Luis Scola and free throw by Goran Dragic for a 94-92 lead with 26 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, couldn't finish.
This was a difficult loss that was almost a quality win for the Suns. In overtime, they ran out of gas and could not stop the hot-shooting Zach Randolph, who sank three straight jumpers over decent defense. Z-Bo scored 38 points ad grabbed 22 rebounds, both season highs.
A lack of rebounding and lacking defense in the paint cost the Suns, as the Grizzlies didn't light it up from outside. Now, with six of the next seven games at home, the Suns must try to rally from the disastrous road trip and stay competitive in the Southwest Division.