Grizzlies 108, Kings 101

Known for his stellar defensive play, Tony Allen has been coming
through offensively for the Memphis Grizzlies the past few
games.

Allen scored a season-high 19 points and led a key late
third-quarter run in the Grizzlies’ 108-101 victory over Sacramento
on Tuesday night, helping Memphis beat the Kings at home for the
seventh straight time.

An 8.4-point scorer on the season, Allen has averaged 14.7
points in his last three games – all Memphis wins.

”The last few games he’s been scoring a few points and he’s
made shots,” said Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins. ”He’s gotten to
the basket, he’s made good decisions.”

Allen had seven points during a 13-8 run that gave the Grizzlies
a 10-point lead in the closing seconds of the third quarter. He
could have had two more points during the run, but his reverse
layup was tipped in by Darrell Arthur.

”Tony is everywhere, he’s all over the place,” Grizzlies
center Marc Gasol. ”We need Tony to do what he did. He’s a great
player.”

Gasol led the Grizzlies with 24 points and 12 rebounds and Mike
Conley scored 22 points. But it was Allen’s accuracy (8-of-12
shooting) and energy that helped Memphis enter the All-Star break
on a three-game winning streak.

Allen’s hustle led to a late-third quarter field goal that put
the Grizzlies ahead 79-71. After Jerryd Bayless missed a 3-pointer,
Allen battled to gain possession of the loose ball and drove in for
a layup.

”Tony has been playing outstanding,” Hollins said. ”His
defense has been outstanding. Early in the game focus was a
problem. He was gambling and giving up buckets, but as the game
wore on he got into it. Usually there’s one guy who’s not having a
good night because of Tony Allen.”

Allen said some of his recent offensive production is a result
of team’s offensive philosophy.

”We’re an inside-out team and Marc Gasol helps me get a lot of
my scoring,” Allen said. ”I can benefit from him. I can take what
(defenses) give me.”

DeMarcus Cousins scored 23 points and Tyreke Evans had 20 for
the Kings, who were attempting to win three straight for the first
time in more than two months.

Bayless made a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the third
quarter to give Memphis an 84-73 lead. The Grizzlies boosted their
advantage to 13 on several occasions early in the fourth and
withstood a late comeback try by the Kings, who pulled to 99-93
with 4:19 to go on a layup by Evans.

Memphis recovered as Gasol and Conley combined to score the
team’s final nine points. Conley made four free throws and a runner
in the lane and Gasol hit a free throw and field goal.

”(Our) mistakes were higher in the third quarter and that’s
where the separation of the game came from,” Kings coach Keith
Smart said. ”I thought (our) guys did everything they could to put
themselves in position to win.”

NOTES: Grizzlies reserve forward Quincy Pondexter, who returned
Sunday in a win over Minnesota after missing 22 games with a
sprained left MCL, did not play against the Kings. Memphis coach
Lionel Hollins preferred to give him additional time to recover.
”I’m just ready to get healthy so I can be able to produce for my
team,” Pondexter said. … Since acquiring Tayshaun Prince, Austin
Daye and Ed Davis in a late-January trade, the Grizzlies have
become more efficient distributing the ball. The Grizzlies have
assisted on more than 60 percent of their field goals (142 of 227)
during the six-game stretch. Memphis ranked 25th in the league in
assists-to-field goals in the 45 games before the trade. …
Sacramento is 5-22 on the road this season. … Memphis improved to
16-0 this season when scoring 100 or more points.