By Charlie O. Mallonee
The Sacramento Kings held the lead over the Memphis Grizzlies just twice in their game on Friday night at the Golden 1 Center. SAC took the first lead of the game 2-0 and would not lead again until there was just 1:17 remaining to play in the game when they would retake the lead over the Grizzlies 98-97.
The Kings (17-15) would hold on to win the game 103-99 to hand the Grizzlies (16-16) their fifth consecutive loss. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak by Sacramento.
Memphis brought their “Grind House D” to SAC
The Grizzlies love to slow the game down and get physical with their opponents under the bucket. The “new” Kings want to get out and run the floor in order to drive the opposition into exhaustion.
On Friday night, the Grizzlies controlled the pace. Memphis set the pace and forced the Kings to play the Grizzlies style of basketball until the fourth quarter. In the final 12-minutes, Sacramento changed the dynamic.
Memphis held the Kings to a field goal percentage of just 37.5% (33/88). It is incredibly rare for an NBA to walk away with a victory when they shoot under 40% in a game.
Sacramento turned in a respectable performance from behind the 3-point line. They hit 15-of-41 attempts from downtown (36.6%). The Kings also had a decent night at the charity stripe, converting 21-of-29 free throw attempts (72.4%).
The Grizzlies outscored the Kings in the paint 34-32. Sacramento won the battle of second chance points 10-8. To no one’s surprise, the Kings won the battle for fastbreak points 21-13.
Memphis outrebounded the Kings 44-42.
Key stats that tell a big story
The Kings committed just 10 turnovers in the contest and those miscues resulted in 16 points for the Grizzlies.
Memphis recorded 18 turnovers that resulted in 27 points for Sacramento. The Griz will look at the turnovers and cringe for some time to come because they may well have cost them the game.
The Kings also won the battle of steals. SAC made 10 thefts in the game while MEM was able to steal the ball just seven times.
- Buddy Hield was the game’s leading scorer posting 28 points for the game. He shot just 9-for-24 from the field, but hit 6-of-13 from 3-point land. Hield also added eight rebounds.
- De’Aaron Fox recorded 14 points and eight assists for Sacramento in the victory. Fox also made five steals in the game. His defense in the final period was a real difference maker.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic also scored 14 points in the contest but shot just 3-for-9 from the floor. However, all three of his baskets were 3-point buckets. Bogdanovic also went 5-for-8 from the free throw line.
- Willie Cauley-Stein recorded a double-double in Kings victory. He scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds versus the Grizzlies. He also dished out four assists.
- Iman Shumpert and Nemanja Bjelica each scored 11 points in the game.
- Mike Conley was the Grizzlies leading scorer with 23 points. Conley hit a career-high seven 3-point baskets in the game.
- Former King Garrett Temple added 17 points for Memphis.
- Marc Gasol put 12 points and eight rebounds in the book.
- All five of the Memphis starters scored in double figures.
The Kings will wrap up their 3-game homestand on Sunday afternoon when they will host Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Grizzlies travel to Los Angeles and will face the Lakers on Sunday.