It came down to the final minutes in Phoenix, but we have finally settled the eight playoff teams in the West. With a win over the Suns, 97-91, the Grizzlies secured their spot in the postseason on Monday.
The Suns absolutely caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 28 points to pull within four of the Grizzlies by halftime after Memphis started out hot in the opening period. A strong defensive showing in the third allowed the Suns to draw even, 67-67, by the beginning of the fourth. Memphis kept on coming, and late three-pointers by Mike Miller and a steal by Zach Randolph with under a minute left clinched it for Memphis.
The win puts the Grizzlies at 49-32, and seals the eighth and final playoff spot over the Suns. Even if Memphis loses to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Phoenix won't be able to top them with a win over the Kings.
Randolph had a season-high 32 points to go along with nine rebounds, two assists and a steal. Marc Gasol added 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, nabbing eight rebounds and three assists. Mike Miller had 21 points off the bench.
For Phoenix, it was Markieff Morris who burned the brightest. The young big man had 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting, adding three blocks, two rebounds, a steal and an assist. Goran Dragic scored 14 points while Eric Bledsoe added 13. Dragic, Bledsoe and Channing Frye shot a combined 17-of-42 from the field.