Green scores 29, Gasol 22 as Grizzlies defeat Kings 121-117
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Jeff Green scored 29 points, Marc Gasol had 22 points, six rebounds and five assists, and the Memphis Grizzlies thwarted a fourth-quarter rally to defeat the Sacramento Kings 121-117 on Saturday night.
The Kings, who lost their fourth straight, pulled within 118-117 on a 3-pointer from Darren Collison with 18.7 seconds left. Courtney Lee converted two free throws for a 120-117 lead. On the next possession, Collison lost the ball, the Kings' 19th turnover, and Memphis held on for its third straight win and ninth in the last 11.
Lee finished with 18 points, while Vince Carter had 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting from the field. Tony Allen had 12 and Zach Randolph scored 10.
Rudy Gay led the Kings with 21 points, including 13 in the fourth. Collison scored 20 points, while DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Omri Casspi matched Cousins' 17 points for Sacramento.
The Kings, who trailed by 22 in the first half and 21 in the third quarter, cut into the Grizzlies' lead before the midway point of the final frame. Collison and Casspi led the early rally. Sacramento closed the score to 104-94 with just over seven minutes left. That led to Memphis coach Dave Joerger calling a timeout and sticking Gasol, Allen and point guard Mike Conley back in the game.
That didn't slow down Sacramento's run. Gay connected on three free throws after he was fouled by Matt Barnes. Eventually, the Sacramento run reached 13-0 and the Kings pulled to 104-102 on a Casspi dunk with 5 minutes remaining.
Memphis built the lead back to 10 points. But Collison scored eight points in the final 2:39 to pull Sacramento to 118-117 before Memphis held on as Lee converted three of four free throws.
Memphis ran its lead to 22 in the second quarter, benefiting from poor ball handling by the Kings. Midway through the second, Sacramento had committed seven turnovers, six of them Memphis steals, leading to 16 points.
Memphis got lackadaisical at that point, allowing Sacramento to chip into the lead, but the Grizzlies still carried a 65-51 advantage into the break.
Memphis continued to maintain its double-digit lead in the third as the Kings still couldn't control the ball, throwing errant passes leading to Memphis fastbreaks. Green converted 10 of his 12 shots by the end of the third, and Memphis carried a 92-77 lead into the final frame.
Kings: Cousins left the game with 2:03 remaining after injuring his left ankle. He was helped off the court. He was injured earlier in the game - midway through the second quarter - and limped to the locker room. He returned to the floor to open the second half. . Rajon Rondo had eight assists before fouling out in the fourth quarter, breaking his streak of 14 straight games with double-digit assists. . Gay returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games with a left eye corneal abrasion. Gay, who played six-plus seasons in Memphis and still owns a house in the city, got a mixed reaction when introduced.
Grizzlies: Memphis has scored 100 points in eighth straight games, tying the longest streak in franchise history for reaching the century mark. . Memphis scored 65 points in the first half, a season-high for a half. . Green entered the game averaging 17.3 points in his last seven games, shooting just under 51 percent. He was 11 of 16 against the Kings.
Kings: Host Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.
Grizzlies: Visit New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.