Sacramento played Tuesday night in Denver, but you never would have guessed that watching the Kings Wednesday against the Grizzlies. After the Grizzlies led by as many as 14 in the first half, the Kings took over. The all-too-familiar third quarter struggles showed up again for the Grizzlies as they were outscored 27-19. The worst was yet to come in the fourth while the Grizzlies were not only outscored again but Marc Gasol left the game with an injury to his neck/shoulder area.
The Grizzlies and Kings traded the lead back-and-forth in the first quarter, until about 5 min to go in the frame. A Jaren Jackson Jr. bucket gave the Grizzlies a 15-14 lead that they held the rest of the half. Both teams were active in the paint early, with Memphis leading that category by a score of 18-12 in the first quarter alone. Overall, at the end of one the Grizzlies closed out a 13-5 run to lead by a margin of 28-19.
In the second quarter, Sacramento did a better job scoring inside, narrowing that gap to 32-30 in the first half. Willie Cauley-Stein led things for the Kings with 11 points but only 1 rebound. Even though they were outscored 25-24 in the second quarter, the Grizzlies did a decent job of spreading the ball around. Every Grizzly that played in the second except for Dillon Brooks and Garrett Temple scored. Jackson and Marc Gasol led the way for Memphis in the first half with 10 points a piece, while Mike Conley and Wayne Selden both had 7 to help the Grizzlies maintain a 52-44 lead at the half.
The Grizzlies came out a bit lethargic to start the third quarter and the Kings quickly began chipping away at the Grizzlies lead, closing the game to a 60-59 Grizzly lead about halfway through the third. At that point the Grizzlies started relying to heavily on perimeter shots, while the Kings continued to drive the lane and led 8-2 in the paint at the 6:00 mark. Sacramento took the lead for the first time since the opening frame before Selden hit back-to-back threes to give the lead back to Memphis 67-63. The Kings closed out the quarter on an 8 to 4 run to tie things up at 71 at the end of three.
Both teams were off to the races in the 4th with the Kings taking a quick 82-80 lead after the first 4:26 of the period. Sacramento kept rolling along using a 9-0 lead to go up 87-80 before Gasol went down on the floor with a neck/shoulder injury after fighting for a rebound. Jaren Jackson Jr. would eventually foul out of the game with 1:24 left in the fourth after Memphis had closed the Sacramento lead to 92-86. A Conley three with 15.9 left made things interesting for a moment, but the Kings closed it out from there en route to the 97-92 victory.
Conley led the way for the Grizzlies with 27 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Jaren Jackson Jr. had 14 points and 7 rebounds, while Marc Gasol had 10 points and 10 rebounds before exiting early in the 4th with an apparent injury. Wayne Selden added 13 poitns off the bench and was a +14 in his 25 minutes of action.
Sacramento was led by Buddy Hield with 23 points and 7 rebounds while De’Aaron Fox added 21 points of his own. Willie Cauley-Stein had a double-double of his own with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
- The Grizzlies outscored the Kings 18-12 in the paint in the first quarter and were subsequently outscored 42-26 in the paint the rest of the game. On top of being outscored down low, the Grizzlies were outrebounded by the Kings 57-49.
- The Kings were averaging 122 points per game heading into tonight’s game and the Grizzlies held them to a season-low 97.
- Former Grizzly Zach Randolph has not played for the Kings at all yet this season, and it doesn’t appear likely that he will anytime soon.
The Grizzlies will bring their 2-2 record back to Memphis to take on the 1-3 Phoenix Suns, this Saturday at FedExForum. The Suns may be without Devin Booker as he exited Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.