PHOENIX: This wasn’t exactly how they mapped out the journey. But the Memphis Grizzlies can finally say those three feel-good words that largely define a successful regular season: We are in.
Better late than never.
Memphis clinched its fourth straight playoff berth Monday night with a hard-fought 97-91 victory over the Phoenix Suns in US Airways Center.
The Grizzlies’ victory eliminated the Suns from postseason contention with one game left to play.
Now, the Griz will host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday in FedExForum with a chance to move up to the seventh seed to meet Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs.
Memphis would remain in eighth place and face top-seeded San Antonio should it lose the season finale.
In some ways, the Grizzlies’ playoff clincher was a microcosm of their season. They overcame adversity—such as giving up 23 points off 19 turnovers—and took care of business to come out ahead.
“This is a culmination of everything we’ve been through since December,” Griz coach Dave Joerger said. “It’s a happy locker room and a relieved locker room. They really did this whole thing together.”
“The biggest thing was we didn’t get way down whenever we felt like we weren’t playing well,” Joerger said. “The most [the Suns]got ahead was by three [points].”