PHOENIX — Their season will not be defined by this one game, but whether or not it is extended will be determined, partly, by how well they play for 48 minutes against Memphis on Monday.
The Suns’ playoff hopes, while slim, still exist despite back-to-back road losses to San Antonio and Dallas.
“Two games didn’t fall in our favor. At the end of the day we can’t get down on ourselves,” Eric Bledsoe said.
Still, that appears easier said than done after they had led by as many as 21 points against the Spurs and blew a 13-point third quarter advantage against the Mavericks.
“It’s your job,” P.J. Tucker said. “You got to come out and play. We’re still in it. It’s not over yet. We’re either going to make the playoffs or be the team that has the most wins not to make the playoffs.”
Since the playoff field expanded to 16 teams in 1984, no team has won as many as 49 games and been left out. However, that scenario exists for the Suns (47-33), who not only need to win their final two games, but hope Memphis (48-32) loses its final two contests.
“All we can do is try to win these two games and then see what happens,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said.
Goran Dragic, as he did against Dallas, will gut it out and play despite a sprained left ankle he suffered five days ago in New Orleans.
“I need a new one, that’s for sure,” he said. “It’s still sore, but that’s normal. (I’ll) take a pill and go tonight. We still got a small chance to make the playoffs, but we’ve got to take of our business first.”
The Suns are 3-3 in their last six games, with each of the three losses coming after they led by margins of 17, 21 and 13 points.
“We just stopped playing our game,” Bledsoe said. “That’s what happens when you’re playing against good teams, they lock in (and) make adjustments in the second half and we didn’t and we lost.”
The Suns, though they catch Memphis on the back-end of a back-to-back, have yet to beat the Grizzlies this season, losing all three meetings by an average of 10.7 points.
Memphis beat the Lakers on the road Sunday, 102-90.
“It’s a battle of who is going to get it to their pace,” Hornacek said. “If we try to play a half court game against them we’re going to be in trouble. If we can get out in the open court and make them run, keep the floor spread, attack and then kick out — that kind of stuff, then we’ll win the game.”