by Charlie O. Mallonee
Just 6.4-seconds remained on the clock in the fourth quarter in Memphis when the Kings called timeout. Dillon Brooks had just buried a 25-foot 3-point jump shot to give the Memphis Grizzlies a 93-92 lead. The Kings were in need of a quick miracle if they were going to leave the home of Graceland with a victory.
Sacramento inbounded the ball and it ended up in the hands of Bogdan Bogdanovic – who had suffered a horrible shooting night – with 1.5-seconds to go in the game. “Bogie” drove on the bucket and pulled up from 16-feet out to sink a two-point basket that gave the Kings a 94-93 advantage. Memphis called an immediate timeout.
With 1.1-seconds to go in the game, the Grizzlies attempted to inbound the ball at midcourt but – yes, you guessed it – Bogdanovic was there to make the steal and the Kings would win the game 94-93.
The King’s record improved to 26-54 on the year while the Grizzlies dropped to 21-58 for the season.
It really wasn’t a very exciting game
As exciting as the ending was, the rest of the game was not that thrilling. In fact, the game was really very boring much of the time. The Kings did not hit a 3-pointer (0-for-6) in the first half. They went just 2-for-6 from the free throw line.
The Grizzlies most notable starter was Ben McLemore to go with the Brooks brothers (no not the suit guys) and two other players you have probably never heard of or have seen in an NBA box score before.
Memphis is in full “tankathon” mode. They currently have the second-worst record in the NBA and could be in contention for the number one draft pick if the ping pong balls would fall the right way. The Grizzlies have lost four games in a row and are 2-8 in their last 10 games. Still, they appeared to want to beat their old coach Dave Joerger on Friday night on their home court.
The Kings certainly started slow and really should be in “tankathon” mode. Sacramento has no first-round draft pick in 2019, so their 2018 selection has to a great one – a home run if you will. Their only goal should be to move up in the lottery standings, but on Friday night winning for their coach versus his former team seemed to take over other goals. But until the fourth quarter, it was really a boring contest.
Coach Joerger looked happy after the game
Dave Joerger did have a look of satisfaction on his face after his team delivered a win to him in Memphis on Friday night. Joerger was the Grizzlies head coach for four seasons and the win appeared to be a bit of sweet revenge for the Kings head coach who would no doubt deny its importance.
The win also had to please Zach Randolph – who was given the night off – and Vince Carter who both played for Memphis before joining the Kings.
- Willie Cauley-Stein was the Kings leading scorer with 18 points in the game. He also grabbed eight rebounds, made three assists, made two steals and blocked two shots.
- Buddy Hield scored 14 points coming off the bench to go with a team-high six assists and five rebounds.
- Justin Jackson had another solid game scoring 13 points in almost 30-minutes on the floor. Jackson shot 5-for-10 overall and 3-for-6 from behind the 3-point line. His 3-pointer with 17.2-seconds to go in the game gave the Kings the lead and the momentum to keep them in the game.
- De’Aaron Fox put 13 points in the book shooting 5-for-13 from the field. He also hauled in six rebounds and dished out four assists.
- Two-way player JaKarr Sampson also had a very nice night as a starter posting 11 points and pulling down six rebounds in just over 24-minutes of playing time.
- It was a huge night for the “Brooks Brothers” in Memphis on Friday. MarShon scored a game-high 23 points to go along with eight rebounds. Dillon put up 16 points and distributed six assists in the Grizzlies losing effort.
- Ivan Rabb recorded a double-double by scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
- Kobi Simmons and Omari Johnson scored 11 points each in the game.
The Kings play their final road game of the season on Monday night in San Antonio.
The Grizzlies host the Pistons in their home finale on Sunday.