NBA: Suns hang on to defeat Grizzles for third straight win

Mikal Bridges scored 24 points and Chris Paul added 22 in his return from a seven-game absence due to a hip injury, lifting the host Phoenix Suns to a 112-110 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

Paul also posted 11 assists and six rebounds for Phoenix, which nearly squandered a 29-point lead before holding on for its third straight win.

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Torrey Craig made 7 of 9 shots from the floor — including four 3-pointers that tied a season high — and scored 20 points to avenge a porous performance in his last game. Craig was held without a point while missing both shots from the floor in the Suns’ 112-107 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

Dario Saric scored 14 points and Jock Landale added 12 for the Suns, who evened the season series at two wins apiece.

Phoenix star Deandre Ayton sat out his second straight game with a non-COVID illness. The Suns also were without All-Star guard Devin Booker (groin), Landry Shamet (foot) and Cameron Payne (foot).

Ja Morant recorded 27 points and eight assists for the Grizzlies, who committed 20 turnovers en route to losing two in a row following their 11-game winning streak, which tied a franchise high. The win streak began after a 125-108 setback to Phoenix on Dec. 27.

Desmond Bane contributed 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Steven Adams collected 10 points and 16 boards for Memphis.

The Grizzlies whittled the 29-point deficit down to two with 28.6 seconds to play in the fourth quarter before Saric answered by making a pair of free throws. Bane countered with a driving layup to pull Memphis within 112-110 with 7.1 seconds to play, however, it could not net the equalizer.

Phoenix bolted out of the blocks in a hurry, amassing a 32-18 lead after one quarter. The Grizzlies’ Tyus Jones, and the Suns’ Craig and Bridges each sank a 3-pointer as Phoenix scored 25 of the first 37 points of the second quarter to push its advantage to 57-30.

The Suns, who held a 62-37 lead at halftime, saw their sizable advantage trimmed to 15 points at the end of the third quarter. Ziaire Williams capped the surge by making a 3-pointer from well beyond his own foul line.

–Field Level Media

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