for this game

Barbosa helps Suns overcome huge night from Mayo

Nov 11, 2008 - 6:06 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- O.J. Mayo couldn't help the Memphis Grizzlies end their struggles against the Phoenix Suns.

Mayo lost a fourth-quarter shootout with Leandro Barbosa, who scored 16 of his 27 points in the session - including a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute - as the Suns posted a 107-102 victory over the Grizzlies on Monday.

Amare Stoudemire added 18 points for Phoenix, which has won nine straight over Memphis.

"It was the first time that I was doing well and I felt like I could go to the basket and I could shoot," Barbosa said. "My teammates were helping me and the coach was helping me, too, and it was great."

"You have to give him credit," Grizzlies head coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We learned a little bit about him, you can't give him an open look and unfortunately those are the lessons that younger player have to learn somewhere along the line, and it hurt us tonight."

Rudy Gay scored 20 points for the Grizzlies, who rallied from a 17-point deficit.

The third overall pick of June's draft, Mayo tried to will the Grizzlies to the win by scoring 19 of his season-high 33 points in the final period.

"We talked about him and Gay," Suns coach Terry Porter said of Mayo. "Both of those guys are very explosive scorers, can really score just about anywhere you need them to score. He was very explosive, put the ball on the floor and created his own shots."

But Mayo was outdone by Barbosa, who gave Phoenix a 103-102 with a 3-pointer from the left corner with 43 seconds left. Steve Nash hit a pair of free throws, and Mayo had a chance to tie it, but his 3-pointer from the top of the key was long with six seconds left.

Nash hit two more free throws to seal the win.

"I got an opportunity with our best screener, Marc (Gasol) or Darko (Milicic)," Mayo said. "They did a great job setting screens, I was able to turn the corner and make some plays for the team."

"There were a few plays that they out hustled us on, and Barbosa hit the big shot in the corner."

Mayo, who scored 31 points in a 100-90 loss to Denver on Sunday, said experience was the difference in the end.

"They made some plays down the stretch and our team doesn't have a lot of years, we've got to work on finishing games down the stretch."

The young Grizzlies caught the Suns sleeping and rallied from 17 down.

Phoenix was cruising along for most of the game, and took a 82-65 lead with 54 seconds left in the third. Led by Mayo, the Grizzlies fought back.

Memphis went on a 20-7 run, capped by a 19-footer from Mayo that made it 87-85 with 8:41 remaining.

"I think we took our foot off the pedal a little bit," said Raja Bell, who scored 10 points. "They have got one of those teams where they are talented across the board, and if you give them an ounce of life, that's all they need to get their confidence going, and we gave them that."