It was an ugly win, but it was a win: Kings beat Grizzlies 102-99 Friday night

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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

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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

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Flying Fox @SacramentoKings

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.

Key Performers

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  • 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.

Up Next

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.

Close but no cigar for Kings in Memphis; Grizzlies beat SAC 112-104 Friday night

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Photo: @NBA

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings kicked off a two-game mini road trip in Memphis on Friday night as they went up against the rival Grizzlies. Why are they the rival Grizzlies you ask? Because Kings head coach Dave Joerger was the head man in Memphis before he became “the man” in SAC. That makes the Grizzlies an automatic rival for the Kings and a  must win for the men in “royal purple” every time they play the team from the city that “Elvis made famous”.

Memphis (9-5) showed the basketball world why they call the FedEx Forum “the Grind House” as they defeated the Kings 112-104. The Grizzlies opened up an 11 point lead just before halftime and they managed to keep that lead throughout the second half all the way to the final buzzer. Sacramento would make mini-runs and close up the score, but the Griz would then “bump and grind” their way back to a 10 point plus lead. 

Memphis used a combination of power basketball under the rim, strong rebounding on offense and well-timed 3-point shooting to beat the Kings (8-7). Both teams had four of their five starters score in double figures.

It was veteran – rookie combo that led Memphis to victory

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Photo: @memgrizz

Jaren Jackson Jr. – the fourth overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Michigan State – was the leading scorer in the game with 27 points. The 6-foot-11 power forward hit on 11-of-16 shots from the floor including one 3-point basket. The big rookie also converted 4-of-6 opportunities from the free throw line. Jackson added six rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots in starring effort for the Grizzlies.

The key player for the Grizzlies was Marc Gasol – who is in his 11th season with Memphis. Gasol posted 19 points shooting 7-for-12 overall and hitting 2-of-6 from behind the arc. The Grizzlies big man made it a double-double game by grabbing 15 rebounds. Six of those rebounds came off the offensive glass helping to set up second-chance opportunities. 

Sacramento was paced by the usual suspects

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Photo: @SacramentoKings

De’Aaron Fox was the Kings, high scorer, and only player to record a double-double in the contest. Fox recorded 23 points and dished out 10 assists in the game. The second-year player shot 8-for-17 from the field but went just 1-for-5 from long range. Fox took advantage of free throw opportunities sinking 6-of-8 chances from the line.

Buddy Hield put 16 points in the book by hitting 50-percent of his shots (6-for-12). Hield buried 2-of-4 3-point attempts. He also added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one blocked shot.

Bogdan Bogdanovic came off the bench to put up 12 points in just under 24 minutes of play. He hit 5-of 10 shots from the field and scored on 2-of-4 3-point opportunities. Bogi also added two assists as he continues to look stronger in each game since returning after an off-season knee procedure. 

Other notable Kings performances: Shumpert 12 points, Cauley-Stein 11 points, Bjelica 8 and Bagley 7. No doubt MBIII would have liked to have performed better versus his fellow draft class member Jackson, Jr., but he will have another chance this season to match up against the number four draft selection.

Joerger’s perspective

“We ran into a very good team. They were focused and ready to go. After they played at our place a couple a weeks ago, we knew this was coming. They were locked in. They were physical. They got after us. They forced 21 turnovers which is way too many for us. Mike (Conley) and Marc (Gasol) set the tone for the game. They’re playing well. 

It’s all in the numbers

  • Memphis outscored SAC 54-42 in the paint
  • The Grizzlies won the battle of 2nd Chance Points 15-8
  • The Kings outran the Griz scoring 37 Fast Break Points to just 13 for Memphis
  • Memphis shot 50.6% (43/85) for the game
  • The Kings had 23 assists and 21 turnovers (17 Memphis points)
  • 24 – the number of Free Throw Attempts each team had in the contest

Up next for SAC

The Kings will wrap up this quick two-game road trip on Saturday night in Houston (7-7). Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PT.


Grizzlies ruin New Year’s Eve for the Kings with a 112-98 win


Memphis Grizzlies v Sacramento Kings
Cousins takes the shot Photo: NBAE

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Sacramento — The New Year’s Eve afternoon game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Sacramento Kings did not become the big holiday celebration the King’s fans were hoping for when they filled the building to capacity. The Kings had defeated the Grizzlies in Memphis earlier in the month, but they could not tame Memphis Saturday afternoon as they lost 112-98.

This was the second consecutive loss for the Kings (14-19) who lost on the road on Wednesday night in Portland. For Memphis (22-14), it was their second win in a row as they were coming off a big victory at home over Oklahoma City on Thursday. The victory also gave the Grizzlies a positive start to their four-game West Coast road trip.

After the game, Kings head coach Dave Joerger called the Grizzlies one of the top four teams in the Western Conference. That is the way the Memphis played and looked in the game against the Kings.

It was all about the “3” for the Grizzlies

Memphis came into the contest shooting 34-percent from 3-point range. In this game, they shot 48.6-percent (17-for-35) from long range literally breaking the backs of the Kings from downtown. Forward JaMychal Green went for 4-for-5 beyond the arc. Zach Randolph came off the bench hitting 4-0f-6 from long range. Mike Conley went 3-for-4 from downtown en route to leading the Memphis scoring attack with 22 points.

The Grizzlies overall shooting was spectacular in the game. They shot an impressive 50.6-percent (44-for-87) from the field. Memphis had five players finish in double figures – Conley 22, Green 18, Randolph 14, Carter 14 and Daniels 11.

The Memphis bench outscored the Sacramento reserves 52-32.

Memphis won this game without much help from Gasol

The Grizzlies are usually very dependent on the center Marc Gasol if they are to have success in a game. The big man was actually very quiet during the first half scoring just two points on free throws while going 0-for-6 from the floor. He also recorded only one rebound in the half.

Gasol disappeared after playing just under three minutes in the third quarter and did return to the game. He rolled his left ankle and went to the training room for treatment. Per a team spokesperson, he could have returned to the game if needed.

We did see Gasol walking under his own power out of the training room after the game. He was not going at full speed, but he did not appear to be in pain.

Tough night for Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins had a tough night with a team that plays tough down low. In the first half, Cousins emphasis seemed to be on distributing the ball. He finished the first half with five of the Kings nine assists.

Cousins picked up his fourth personal foul with 9:16 to play in the third quarter of the game and the Kings trailing 57-49. Joerger chose to keep Cousins in the contest but he really could not be factor on defense for fear of picking up another foul.

Then with 4:08 remaining in the third quarter, Cousins was hit with his eighth technical foul of the season after getting into a shouting confrontation with several Memphis players. At first Cousins and everyone in the building thought he had been ejected from the game because of the hand gestures of the referee, but that turned out not to be the case. Cousins was allowed to remain in the game.

Cousins finished the game with 26 points, 8 assists and four rebounds.

Sacramento struggled with their shooting in the game

The Kings had trouble getting the ball to drop through the basket at times on Saturday. For much of the second half they were shooting under 40-percent from the field. They finished the game with a 43.1-field goal shooting percent (31-for-72).

The 3-point shot was also not the Kings friend versus the Grizzlies. They went 11-for-28 (39.3-percent) from downtown for the game.

The bright spot for the Kings was at the free throw line. Sacramento went 25-for-28 (89.3-percent) from the charity stripe. Memphis went to the free throw line just nine times in the game.

Lawson injured in first half – status is up in the air

Kings guard Ty Lawson was hit in the face late in the second quarter of the game. In order to get to bench and be substituted for, Lawson had to commit a foul to stop the action.

The only update that was given by the team on his status after the game was that Lawson was still under medical evaluation for his injuries.

Up next

The Kings are off until Tuesday when they will travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets for the first time this season. It is always a big deal for some of the Kings players to face Denver because the Nuggets are coached by their former coach Michael Malone.

The Grizzlies travel down the coast to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Tuesday night.

Kings Outplayed by Strong Memphis Team

AP Photo/Brandon Dill

By Jeff Hall


The Memphis Grizzlies snapped a three game losing streak with a 97-83 win over the Kings in Memphis. Mike Conley and Jeff Green led the way for the Grizzlies. Conley scored 18 points and Green added 16.

Rudy Gay was the Kings offensive leader. Gay scored 24 points but had to leave the game in the third quarter after taking an elbow in the face from his former teammate Marc Gasol.

The Kings played without their All-Star DeMarcus Cousins who was given the night off for rest.

Kings Head coarch George Karl said resting Cousins was based on a remark from the starting center that his body was beat up.

Zach Randolph also had a great night scoring for the Grizzlies with 15 points for Memphis.

The struggling Grizzlies had lost to Cleveland, Golden State and the Spurs, all by double digits, and the loss at San Antonio on Sunday cost them their hold on the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.

Memphis was in a different position than during the losing streak, carrying a 56-43 lead into halftime. Memphis built at the start of the second quarter, hitting its first five shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, to build the advantage to as many as 16 before halftime.

“We were behind from the beginning,” Kings Power Forward Derrick Williams said. “We kept it close until the last couple of minutes.”

Coach Karl acknowledged it was hard to challenge a team like Memphis with his two top players, Cousins and eventually Gay, out of the game.

“Every time it looked like we had an opportunity, we’d bite ourselves in the butt with a bad pass or a bad decision,” Karl said.

With the loss Sacramento has lost 10 straight road games to Memphis.

Up next the Kings conclude their four game road trip in Houston against the Rockets on Wednesday.

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.