@ NBA Media Ventures
By Jeremiah Salmonson
SACRAMENTO–The Kings have already hit rock bottom. They are now just lingering at the bottom of the ocean on the ocean floor. Unfortunately, that’s really the only way to put it. The Kings are looking for anything to build on at this point. Having lost 8 straight, the Kings entered into Thursday nights game desperately needing a win. The opponent was the Memphis Grizzlies who were 13-21 coming into the game. The tip-off was set for 7 PM PST at Golden One Center.
In the first, the Grizzlies got off to a roaring start. They shot 58% overall and 55% from deep to take a commanding 42-26 lead over the Kings. The Kings managed to put up 26 points on 43% overall and 33% from deep. Jaren Jackson Jr. showed up in a big way for the Grizzlies dropping 14 points on 5-7 shooting in the first. Leading the way for the Kings in the first was Buddy Hield who scored 12 points. The Kings would need to right the ship in a hurry before they let this game too out of reach.
In the second, the Kings took the lead about as quickly as the Grizzlies got it in the first. The Kings erupted for 37 points in the second quarter and held the Grizzlies to 18 points to take a 63-60 lead going into halftime. Richuan Holmes dropped 13 points in the second alone to lead the Kings in the first half with a total of 15 points. De’Aaron Fox also played well in the first half putting up 10 points. The Kings would hope to keep things going in the second half to snap their eight-game losing streak.
In the third, the Kings defense fell flat again. Like the first quarter, the Kings weren’t able to control the Grizzlies offense. The Grizzlies scored 37 points. So far in the game is was the tale of two quarters. The Kings managed to score 27 points but gave up the lead 97-90 going into the final quarter. The Kings only hoped they could replicate what they did in the second quarter in the final twelve minutes of action.
In the final quarter, the Kings battled back and the game was tied with 7:08 left. The Kings had put themselves in a position to win, and they did just that. The Kings snapped their eight-game losing streak by scoring 38 points in the fourth to win 128-123. The Grizzlies managed to score 26 points in the fourth but it wasn’t enough. Leading the way for the victorious Kings was De’Aaron Fox who scored 27 points followed by Buddy Hield who scored 26. For the Grizzlies, Ja Morant led the way with 23 points.
In a game the Kings desperately needed to win, they managed to pull it out. It wasn’t pretty, but they got it done. The Kings improved to 13-22 on the year. Don’t look now but the Kings are still only two games back of the eighth seed. All hope is not lost Kings fans.
Up Next: The Kings stay home to take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday evening at 7 PM PST.