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Quick Recap: Grizzlies dethrone Kings in Sacramento

Grizzlies use strong second half to beat Kings for 6th straight time

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Memphis Grizzlies v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Grizzlies tipped off their post-Christmas stretch of basketball with a matinee matchup against the Kings out in Sacramento. Things started to trend against the Grizzlies mere hours before tip-off with Dillon Brooks, De’Anthony Melton and Yves Pons entering Health & Safety Protocols while the Kings were getting De’Aaron Fox back from the protocols. The Grizzlies were able to get Brandon Clarke back, who has missed the last 11 games for the Grizzlies due to knee soreness. John Konchar also picks up his first career NBA start filling in for Dillon Brooks.

Both teams took some time to get their offense going as each looked rusty offensively after the holidays. The Grizzlies missed their first 6 attempts from beyond the arc but were able to score efficiently in the paint. Damian Jones was big in the first quarter for the Kings scoring 9 points dominating the Grizz bench. The Grizzlies and Kings exchanged leads throughout the first before a 5-0 run helped the Kings take a 24-20 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Grizzlies continued to play a little slow to start the second quarter but going a little bit after creating some deflections defensively while Jaren Jackson Jr. started to attack the rim offensively. The Grizz offense didn’t really get much going in the second but they were more disciplined defensively in the second quarter and made a couple of timely triples late in the second. A 4-0 run by the Kings, however, saw them retake a 1-point lead into the halftime break.

The Grizzlies trailed by one at halftime despite shooting 35% from the field and 21% from beyond the arc. The Grizzlies missed a ton of shots they normally make en route to the poor-shooting first half.

Memphis Grizzlies v Sacramento Kings Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Grizzlies offense woke up to start the second half, going on a 18-8 run to start the quarter. The Grizzlies were able to take a double digit lead by the midway point of the 3rd quarter, in a game that found itself eerily similar to the last matchup in Sacramento that saw the Grizzlies go from down 15 to up 20 in the middle quarters of the game. The Grizzlies led by 20+ in the quarter and the great offensive outburst, mixed with solid defense, found them up 89-77 heading into the 4th quarter after the Grizzlies continued to struggle closing out quarters as the Kings close the 3rd on a 14-4 run.

The Grizzlies offense sparked a run to help them extend their lead back to 22 by the midway point of the 4th quarter. The Grizzlies were able to control the rest of the game and coast to the win in Sacramento after the slow start to the game. The Grizzlies were able to to extend their lead up to 30 points towards the end of the 4th. The big lead allowed the Grizzlies to check in Shaq Buchanan and let him make his NBA debut, with Tyrell Terry checking in for his Grizzlies debut as well.

The Grizzlies end of bench unit allowed them to continue to run away with the game as the Grizzlies win their 6th straight over the Kings, with a final score of 127-102.

Quick Takeaways

The Next Man Up: John Konchar was the next man up in the Grizzlies rotation, earning his first career start with Dillon Brooks out. Konchar stepped up earning his first double-double in the NBA while also showing off his defensive abilities creating multiple deflections and creating turnovers and extra possessions.

The Growth of JJJ: We saw Jaren Jackson Jr. continue his growth offensively with Ja out as he attacked the rim and looked comfortable with that aspect of his game. This afternoon the shots weren’t falling early, but Jaren kept attacking the rim and used his body to draw fouls and have a career high 13 free throw attempts. Jaren growing and embracing contact offensively and being able to convert at the free throw line would be a spectacular step in his development.

The Grizzlies can flip the switch. The Grizzlies have found themselves down in the first half against the Kings both games in Sacramento but were able to come out of halftime with runs to give them some relatively easy wins. The Grizzlies development and chemistry has allowed them to be able to overcome slow starts and take over when they’re locked in. After being blown out a few times too many early in the season, the Grizzlies have proven they can flip the switch and turn things up when needed.

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