Grizzlies Claw Their Way to Victory Over Kings


Once again, with no DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings (9-8) faced the best team in the West, the Memphis Grizzlies (15-2) for the first time since their last controversial ending in Memphis, but once again it would be the Grizzlies getting the better of the Kings, winning 97-85, in a well-rounded performance from Memphis was too much for the Kings and the Grizzlies clawed their way to a victory.

Zach Randolph would lead the charge with 22 points and 12 rebounds and Marc Gasol would add 18. With no Cousins, the Kings looked to Ryan Hollins once again, but when he was ejected due to two technical fouls the Kings received an unexpected boost from veteran Reggie Evans.

All heart and hustle was Evans on his way to 17 points and 20 rebounds. Rudy Gay added 20 points, but once again, the Kings were over-matched and outplayed by sure to contend opponent. Although the Kings battled from a 21-point early deficit, they couldn’t keep up with the Grizzlies on their way to a third straight loss.

The Kings never led in the game, and committed 23 turnovers in the game, compared to just 16 assists.

The Grizzlies got off to a quick 11-4 lead on the Kings, but the Kings would bring themselves right back into the game and get the deficit to two. After missing a couple open looks and a layup, Ben McLemore was able to get a layup on a two-on-one fast break and a dunk on a fast break. A nice drive and a nifty move by Darren Collison tied the game up at 18.

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  • Like a broken record, the Kings would shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers. They had seven in the first quarter alone. Randolph would make sure the Kings felt Cousins’ absence as he took it to the Kings bigs, getting Jason Thompson into foul trouble and taking it right to the lanky Hollins. A 10-2 run to close out the quarter would have the Grizz up 28-20 on the Kings.

    The Grizz kept the push on to begin the second quarter. Led by Randolph who was beating the Kings in every aspect of the game, scoring, passing and rebounding at will. Marc Gasol would re-enter the game for Memphis after claiming two early fouls and would instantly produce, assisting a Beno Udrih bucket and scoring one of his own.

    On the other side, Reggie Evans came into the game like a wrecking ball, with tip-back after tip-back, doing what he does best, livening the Kings. But, as the Grizz needed a last-second game-winner from Courtney Lee in the first meeting, that wouldn’t look to be the case today. Vince Carter threes were draining and the Grizz pulled out to a 45-26 lead, due in large part to a 27-8 run.

    Then things got a little chippy, as Hollins and Carter would take each other to the ground, and both were T’d up by hero-ref, Joey Crawford. A pair of turnovers would allow the Grizz to extend their lead 51-30 as the Kings just couldn’t find an offensive rhythm without Cousins in the center.

    The Kings would trim the deficit to 58-42 at half. Evans posted an impressive six points and seven rebounds in 13 minutes and Gay finished the half with 15 points.

    A technical early in the third quarter sent Hollins to the showers early and Evans was implemented. His hustle continued in the quarter, but the Kings weren’t able to make up much of the deficit half-way through the period. Evans was money around the rim, though, and equally as beneficial on the defensive end as the Kings were able to cut the lead to single digits, at 65-57 Memphis with five minutes to play.

    Evans brought the crowd and the Kings bench to life, after a missed Gay shot, as he drew a foul on Gasol, his fourth, while Gasol tried to keep Evans from the rebound. The momentum was, for the first time of the game, in the Kings’ favor. Memphis would lead 74-65 at the end of three.

    Four McLemore points to start the fourth, cut the lead to five. A few possessions later, Carl Landry would do his best Evans impression with a put-back after an offensive rebound to cut the Memphis lead to three. With seven minutes left, Gay, Collison and Thompson returned for the

    Kings, but Gasol and the Grizzlies didn’t seem to mind as he scored Memphis’ next eight points. Unforced turnovers for the Kings at a horrible time in the game allowed the Grizzlies to extend their lead to 10 with under three minutes to play. The Grizzlies would prevent the Kings from getting any closer and would get out of Sacramento with a victory.

    The Kings will face the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday at Sleep Train Arena.