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.

Memphis able to hold off Sacramento surge

Photo Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press –

By Pearl Allison Lo

The Grizzlies were able to overcome a second half surge by the Kings Sunday in a 97-86 win.

Memphis’s Zach Randolph had all 9 of his 22 points after a three by Travis Outlaw with 7:18 left to go in the game, put Sacramento within three.

Randolph was the only player to get a double-double, as he also got pulled down 10 rebounds.

Outlaw led the team with 18 points and 6 rebounds from the bench, with all his scoring done in the second half.

The Kings’ John Salmon, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and Travis Outlaw all hit double digit points.

The Grizzlies led for the majority of the first quarter but there were five ties. Memphis pulled away to 25-18 with an 11-4 run after the last one. 7 of those points came from Jerryd Bayless who entered the game with 2:51 left in the first.  Bayless also had a rebound.

The first 3 minutes and 42 seconds of the second quarter were filled with fouls and free throws. At one point, the Grizzlies’ Mike Miller committed a foul and then turnover and Kosta Koufos was called for a foul immediately after. Memphis extended their lead to 17 points during the quarter, converting on five straight possessions. Koufos and Marc Gasol each scored 4 points then and Mike Conley, who had 9 assists in the game, assisted on 3 straight possessions. Gasol had 9 points in the quarter. The Grizzlies ended the first half with a 13 point lead, 47-34.

Memphis extended their lead to 20 several times during the third quarter. The Grizzlies’ Tony Allen started out early with steals on consecutive possessions, leading to points by Tayshaun Prince and himself. After a timeout with 7:37 left to go, coach put in reserves Salmon, Thomas, Thornton, Outlaw and Chuck Hayes into the game, leading to a 24-13 run. Outlaw and Thomas started out with three-pointers on consecutive possessions and combined for 17 of the 19 points scored after. Thomas’s layup with 2:33 left to go put within single digits at the time and Outlaw had 9 points during the quarter.

Thomas made at least two nice passes to teammates up front for points in the fourth. With the shot clock winding down with 9:55 left to go, Thomas was fouled and got a new clock.  After Outlaw put the game within three, he missed two shots and committed a foul and Sacramento went scoreless for over 3 minutes. The Grizzlies shaved a minute off the clock when on one possession, they consistently missed and got the rebound three times until Hamady Ndiaye blocked the ball, Randolph got the rebound and Memphis missed again.

Game notes: Regarding shooting percentage, rebounds and assists, they went in favor of the Grizzlies in the ratios of 55.6% to 37.9%, 49-35 and 30-21. Gasol had 19 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists. When Randolph scores at least 15, Memphis is now 5-1, as the Grizzlies beat Sacramento for the sixth straight time. The Kings next play Tuesday versus the Phoenix Suns at 7pm.