Kings lose in OKC 94-81

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Photo credit: NBAE/Getty Images

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings kicked off a three-game road trip in Oklahoma City versus the Thunder on Friday night. The outcome was no surprise as the Thunder defeated the Kings 94-81. The win improved Oklahoma City’s home record to improve to 30-7. Sacramento’s road record dropped to 10-26. The Thunder have won seven of their last 10 games. The Kings have lost seven of their last 10 games.

The Thunder were led by Kevin Durant who scored 29 points in just 29 minutes on the floor. Durant was nine for 11 from the field, a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line while recording six assists, two steals and two block shots. Russell Westbrook put up 18 points and Jeremy Lamb added 13 points.  

The Kings leading scorer was Ben McLemore with 18 points. McLemore hit on five of 16 shots from the field, hit three 3-pointers, distributed three assists and recorded two steals. Ray McCallum started at point guard with Isaiah Thomas out for the second straight game. McCallum put up 13 points while dishing out five assists. Both McLemore and McCallum recorded 45 minutes of playing time in the game.

Travis Outlaw had another big night. Outlaw posted 17 points hitting on five of six 3-point shots. Rudy Gay added just seven points in a limited outing of just 21 minutes of playing time. DeMarcus Cousins battled foul trouble and put just four points in 17 minutes on the floor.

The reduced playing time for Gay and Cousins may have also been pre-planned by Kings Coach Michael Malone. This was not a game that the Kings were expected to win. Sacramento plays Dallas on Saturday and the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. A rested Gay and Cousins could help the Kings pick up a victory in one of those two games.

The Kings shot just 36.5-percent (31 for 85) from the field but shot 50.0-percent (9 for 18) from 3-point range. The Kings shot below average from the free throw line at just 62.5-percent (10 for 16). Sacramento out-rebounded the Thunder 49-38. The Kings recorded 17 assists but turned the ball over 16 times.

The Kings left after the game for Dallas where they will play the Mavericks on Saturday night. The Mavs are 43-30 on the season and are currently in ninth-place in the Western Conference. Dallas is one game behind the Phoenix Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot.

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.