The Grizzlies lost to the Western Conference-worst Lakers yesterday.
That’s bad enough, but perhaps Memphis should’ve lost to the West’s second-worst team the day before.
Matt Barnes got away with two violations during a pivotal defensive stand as the Grizzlies attempted to protect a two-point lead in the final seconds against the Suns on Monday, per the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report.
First, Barnes disrupted Phoenix’s offense with an uncalled defensive three-second violation. The violation occurred with 18.6 seconds left, according to the NBA:
Barnes (MEM) is in the paint without actively guarding an opponent for longer than three seconds.
Then, with 14.7 seconds left, Barnes got away with a shooting foul on Jon Leuer, who missed. NBA:
Barnes (MEM) makes contact with Leuer’s (PHX) arm that affects his driving shot attempt
If the three-second violation were called, the Suns would’ve gotten a free throw and kept the ball. If the foul were called, Leuer would’ve gotten two free throws. Either would’ve been huge in a two-point game.
Instead, Phoenix had to begin intentionally fouling, and Memphis pulled away for a 103-97 win.