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.