Dating to last season, the Suns have won three straight in the series and are looking for their first four-game winning streak against Memphis since the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.
Last season in a 128-97 blowout, Phoenix made a franchise record by making 24 three-pointers. The total has gone under at BMR’s top-rated books in seven of the past eight meetings.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns
Monday, December 27, 2021 – 09:00 PM EST at Footprint Center
Monday is the second of three regular-season meetings between the Grizzlies and Suns, although they could easily meet in the postseason as Phoenix sits second in the Western Conference and Memphis is fourth.
They played on November 12th in Memphis and the Suns won 119-94. Seven Phoenix players scored in double figures, led by 17 each from Devin Booker and Jae Crowder. Chris Paul had 15 points, 12 assists, five steals, and four rebounds. Former No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton didn’t play due to a leg contusion.
Memphis got 26 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists from Ja Morant and 19 points from Jaren Jackson Jr., but no one else had more than nine. The Grizz shot just 37.8 percent and missed 10 of 23 free throws.
Memphis Bit Short-Handed
Ahead of Sunday’s 127-102 win in Sacramento, the Grizzlies put Dillon Brooks, De’Anthony Melton, and Yves Pons in the health and safety protocols. Pons doesn’t play but Brooks is second on the team in averaging 19.3 ppg and Melton averages 10.5 points.
Desmond Bane led the way with 28 points Sunday as the Grizz snapped a three-game skid to lead seven players scoring in double figures. Jaren Jackson Jr. had 21 points and John Konchar 11 points and 14 rebounds – he was the main beneficiary of Brooks and Melton being out as it was the first start of his career.
Brandon Clarke had 14 points and five rebounds off the bench in his return from injury. Memphis scored a franchise-record 35 second-chance points thanks to 19 offensive rebounds. It outshot Sacramento 47-42 percent to improve to 57-0 since the start of the 2019-20 season when outshooting its opponent by at least five overall.
The Grizzlies lead the league in steals (10.4) and rank second in deflections (17.5) and loose balls recovered (6.6). Memphis recorded a franchise-record 11 straight games with 10+ steals from November 30th to December 19th. The team is 1-4 straight up in the second of a back-to-back this year.
Memphis is 3-7 ATS on the NBA picks in its past 10 vs. teams with a winning percentage above .600.
Phoenix In Letdown Spot?
There’s a chance this could be a bit of a letdown game for the Suns as they played a huge game vs. Western Conference-leading Golden State on Christmas and lost 116-107 to see a five-game winning streak snapped.
The Suns also had won 15 in a row at home. It was just the third Christmas Day game in NBA history where both teams entered with at least a .800 winning percentage, joining the 2008 Celtics-Lakers and 1996 Bulls-Pistons.
Devin Booker didn’t play well in the loss, making just 5-for-19 for 13 points. Chris Paul had 21 points and eight assists but was minus-5. Deandre Ayton’s streak of five straight double-doubles ended as he had 18 points and seven rebounds.
“They played harder than us,” Suns coach Monty Williams said of the Warriors. “And it’s rare that I would consider saying that about our team.”
Williams was right as there’s no way the Suns should have lost at home with the Dubs missing Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala, and Damion Lee (not to mention Klay Thompson and James Wiseman). Phoenix shot 0-for-4 for the final 3:01 of the game.
It seems that 110 is the magic number for the Suns. They are 23-0 this year when limiting their foes to 110 points or fewer. Phoenix remains without reserve big man Frank Kaminsky, who has missed the past 10 games with a right knee stress reaction. He averages 10.6 points and 4.6 rebounds.
Forward Jae Crowder and backup guard Elfrid Payton both entered COVID protocols on Sunday so they won’t be available, either. Payton isn’t a major loss but Crowder is a solid player.
The Suns are 13-6 against the spread on the NBA odds in their past 19 playing on one day of rest. Simulations I have run have Phoenix winning by around seven points so we will take the points.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.