by Marko Ukalovic
MEMPHIS, Tenn–Terence Davis had a chance at the end of the game to play the hero but his deperation three-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed out as the Memphis Grizzlies held on by the skin of its teeth to defeat the Sacaramento Kings 107-106 on Saturday evening at FedEx Forum.
Memphis have won five games in a row, including the two-game sweep over the Kings, and head into Sunday’s finale showdown with the Golden State Warriors with eight place in the Western Conference on the line. Sacramento has lost two in a row and three out of its last five games.
The Kings (31-40) entered the game tying a NBA record for futility. This is the 15th consecutive year they will miss the post-season, a record they now share with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Memphis (38-33) looked to have wrapped up the game with 46.5 seconds remaining in the game when Killian Tillie made a three-pointer to put the Griz up 105-99. However, their poor free throw shooting down the stretch (missing seven of its final ten) kept the Kings in it to set up Davis’ chance at the buzzer.
Louis King came off the bench and was the Kings leading scorer with 27 points on 10-16 shooting, including 2-5 from beyond the arc. Center Damian Jones led the starters with 17 points on six of seven shooting and 10 rebounds.
Justise Winslow led the Grizzlies in scoring with 25 points on 9-19 shooting, including 4-6 from three point land. Tillie and Xavier Tillman each chipped in with 16 points.
Memphis jumped out to a 29-25 lead after the first quarter as Winslow got off to a good start with 10 points in the first quarter. Jones kept the Kings afloat with his 10 points in the opening 12 minutes.
Sacramento went on a 13-0 run in a two-minute stretch starting at the 7:58 mark of the second quarter to go up 49-42. They closed out the half with a four-point lead 57-53.
Memphis started the third quarter cold and the Kings took advantage outscoring the Grizzlies 5-0 in the first 2:10 to extend its lead to nine, their biggest lead of the game at 62-53.
Down by nine points, the Griz finished the final 6:49 of the third quarter on a 16-6 run to go up 79-76 heading into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter went back and forth with four lead changes and the biggest lead for either team was just five points by Memphis.
The game featured more of a G-League lineup than an NBA lineup. Memphis were without seven of its players including Jonas Valanciunas, Grayson Allen, and Sean McDermott. While Sacramento, who have been hit hard by the injury bug, were without stars Harrison Barnes, De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and Marvin Bagley III.
GAME NOTES: Sacramento finished 15-21 on the road this season.
Buddy Heald, who has been dealing with ankle injury, was in the starting lineup and finished with 11 points and five assists.
UP NEXT: The Kings finish the regular season at home as they host the Utah Jazz on Sunday 5/16 at 6:00pm at Golden 1 Center.