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Sacramento Kings vs. Memphis Grizzlies, Final Score 97-85: Marc Gasol leads the finishing blow for Memphis

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No revenge for the Kings.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
1st Quarter:

Demarcus Cousins was a late scratch for the Kings, giving the Grizzlies a leg up at center heading into the game.  Marc Gasol apparently felt this was an unfair advantage, as he picked up 2 quick fouls and spent most of the quarter on the bench. The Grizzlies forced 2 turnovers and 4 consecutive shots from Ben McLemore en route to an 11-4 lead at the under-8:00 timeout.   After starting 0-3, the Kings hit 6 in a row to cut the lead to 14-12, most of the damage coming after Marc Gasol picked up his 2nd foul around the 7 minute mark.

The Grizzlies hit the offensive boards hard and won the turnover battle 8-3, but the Kings' hot shooting (64%) kept them in the game.  The story of the first quarter was Zach Randolph, who put up 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in Gasol's absence, including a one man 9-0 run.  The Grizzlies end the quarter up 8, 28-20.

2nd Quarter:

The Grizzlies' offense was firing on all cylinders in the second quarter, pushing the lead to 45-26 halfway through. Vince Carter led a varied offense with two long threes, accenting several mid-range jumpers and easy buckets off turnovers and cuts to the basket.  The Grizzlies and Kings continued to trade buckets throughout the remainder of the quarter.  The most dramatic moment of the quarter was probably Ryan Hollins going to the floor and jawing, resulting in a VC scowl and a double technical for Hollins and Carter.  The Grizzlies end the quarter up 16, 58-42.

Keys to the half:

The Kings entered the game as one of the worst teams in the league at taking care of the ball, and the Grizzlies took advantage, forcing 12 turnovers and turning them into 18 points.  Z-Bo stepped up in a big way in Marc's absence, putting up 15 points on 7-11 shooting along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 16 first half minutes.

3rd Quarter:

An early second technical on Hollins left the Kings without a true center, and the smaller Kings began to play like it, looking to run in transition and out-quick the bigger Grizzlies.  Reggie Evans, a DNP the previous 7 games, became the de facto center and did what he does, hustling and working hard on the glass.  The Grizzlies seemed to be going through the motions and the Kings took advantage, generating a 14-4 run to cut the lead to 7, 65-58, at the 4:30 mark.  Evans reached a double double early in the quarter as he was simply outworking the Grizzlies' bigs.  Gasol picked up his 3rd and 4th fouls and was largely a non-factor.  Zach Randolph went 1-5 and struggled at the free throw line after his excellent start.  Courtney Lee's late layup finished a ragged quarter with a 9 point lead at the end of the 3rd, 74-65.

4th Quarter:

The crowd grew raucous as the Grizzlies gave up an early 6-0 run, allowing the lead to shrink to 3, 74-71, around 3 minutes into the quarter.   After a few ineffectual minutes, the Grizzlies' offense returned to their core players, with Marc Gasol and Mike Conley getting the majority of the clutch touches.  Gasol scored 8 straight for the Grizzlies to push the lead back out to 9, 87-78.  The Kings began to hack Tony Allen to force him to make free throws, and he was hit or miss, but the Kings struggled to hold onto the ball long enough to get into any sort of offense.  Despite some calls from Joey Crawford that would make you question his legal sanity, the Grizzlies tightened the vice on the Kings and Marc Gasol's 17th and 18th points capped a 14-3 run that pushed the lead to 14, 93-79.  Grizzlies win, 97-85

Player of the game: Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol (tie)

Z-Bo dominated early and built the big first half lead while Marc sat with foul trouble.  When he went cold in the second half, Marc went to work and finished with 18 points, 10 in the 4th quarter.

Parting thoughts:

This was an uneven game for both teams without their marquee centers, Cousins out with a virus and Gasol missing long stretches of the first 3 quarters with foul trouble.  In the end, the Grizzlies had too many horses and beat the Kings to improve their league-best record to 15-2.