The season is winding down but the tank race is heating up. The Memphis Grizzlies had lost three games in a row entering in to a huge game against the Sacramento Kings, but not for normal reasons. The Kings are just a few games ahead of the Grizzlies in the tank race and the Grizzlies need every loss they can get at the end of this season to ensure they get a top pick this offseason. If they lost this game against the Kings, it would ensure that they will have no worse than the 5th pick in the draft.
The inactive list was much longer than normal for the Grizzlies. Mike Conley, Tyreke Evans, Marc Gasol, JaMychal Green, Jarell Martin, and Wayne Selden were all out for the Grizzlies tonight.
Grizzlies started with a bunch of young guys and actually really small with Ivan Rabb at the center position. The Grizzlies started the game on several isolation plays for different players but that only one that ended up going well for them was MarShon Brooks with a free throw line jumper. Dillon Brooks hit two early threes to keep the game even against the Kings. The Brooks brothers had all ten of the points early on for the Grizzlies to keep them tied with the Kings mid way through the first quarter. There were a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball because of all the young players, but the Grizzlies defense could not get it together. They were allowing straight line drives to the basket and letting the Kings score easy layups. Dillon Brooks and MarShon Brooks were easily the highlight of the first quarter with 6 points a piece. The Grizzlies trailed the Kings by three points after the first quarter.
The second quarter started with slam from Kobi Simmons followed by a steal and slam by Dillon Brooks to give the Grizzlies the lead by one. Dillon and Marshon Brooks continued to play lights out for the Grizzlies. They were really the only reason that Grizzlies were still in the game mid way through the quarter. Deyonta Davis had no interest in being on the court tonight, only looking good for on lob catch on offense. He let players drive by him multiples times for easy layups.
The Grizzlies started to run on offense, playing less half court offense, but were able to get out in transition and score buckets against the Kings. MarShon Brooks continued to score the basketball and ended up with 16 points in just twenty minutes of basketball. Dillon Brooks was also able to lead the way with 8 points in 17 minutes action.
The third quarter started with absolutely no scoring from either team, the first three minutes went scoreless before Dillon Brooks hit a free throw. The young Grizzlies were missing rebounds giving the Kings easy second chance opportunities, letting them dunk the ball for easy points. They also struggled with turnovers in the third quarter and bad turnovers at that, they were no dead ball turnovers, it was all turnovers that led to easy fast break points for the Kings.
The Kings then went on a 9-0 run to gain a four point lead in the game, but the Grizzlies came right back with a run of their own. It was capped by Kobi Simmons driving hard to the basket, getting the foul, and making the free throw to take the lead back. The game went back and forth the rest of the quarter, but the Kings were able to put together a five point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter much like the third did with a lot of missed shots. The Grizzlies were taking more three pointers but not making any at all, going 3-17 through the fourth on three point attempts. With just over eight minutes to go in the game, MarShon Brooks returned and immediately scored getting the Grizzlies back to a deficit of single digits. The Kings increased their lead to nine points due to the Grizzlies continued lack of effort on defense and their inability to turn the ball over. The Grizzlies were able to cut the lead to six on a Mario Chalmers straight line drive and score.
After another Mario Chalmers bucket, they tied the game back up with just over 90 seconds to go in the game. The Kings came back with a basket of their own to retake the lead by two, but then Mario Chalmers sinks a shot clock buzzer three to take the lead. Justin Jackson hit a shot to put the Kings up by two with 16 seconds left in the game and with one possession Dillon Brooks hit a three with 6 seconds left to put the Grizzlies up by one. The Kings hit another late possession shot to go up by one point and the Grizzlies had another chance with one second left, but they came up short, losing to the Kings 94-93.