Conley checkmates Kings

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Pearl Allison Lo

The Memphis Grizzlies, who were on a four game winning streak heading into their last matchup versus Sacramento are on another one now, as Mike Conley led again in a 99-89 win over the Kings.

With their victory, the Grizzlies matched the sizzling Thunder for best record in the NBA the last 10 games, at 9-1.

Since the Kings and Memphis last met January 17, Sacramento has only won one game in the now seven games since and the Grizzlies have only lost once in the now six games since.

Conley led with 27 points and 10 assists. The last time Conley scored 20+ points was in the teams’ last meeting, where he scored 25 and led the game as well .

Two of Sacramento’s three missing starters returned and were the leading scorers with 20+ points, but they were the only ones who achieved double digits.

Rudy Gay returned to the lineup from an Achilles strain and produced 23 points on 10 of 16 shooting. Isaiah Thomas looked recovered as well, as he was the top scorer with 24 points on 10 of 21 shooting and four three-pointers.

In the first quarter, Conley had five of his assists while Thomas scored 10 of his team’s first 14 points, along with one assist.

The Kings’ last lead came with 5:58 left to go in the third. There were about eight ties and nine lead changes until then. Sacramento missed eight baskets and had four turnovers while the Grizzlies ended the quarter on a 10-2 run.

During a 30 point fourth for Memphis, Sacramento pulled to within three with a 9-2 run to make it 84-81 with 4:33 to go, but the Grizzlies “stole” the game for good with a 15-8 finishing run while four different players took the ball away from the Kings. Conley scored seven during that stretch and Tayshaun Prince scored six.

Game notes: The Grizzlies’ Zach Randolph had four steals and seven rebounds to go along with 18 points. Conley was 9 for 9 from the free throw line. Sacramento ends January Friday at 5:30 pm, facing the Dallas Mavericks.

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