Grizzlies slip past Kings at home, rise above .500 again
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mike Conley had 25 points and six assists, then grabbed possession of a jump ball in the final two seconds to help the Memphis Grizzlies secure a 91-90 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
Courtney Lee added 17 points for Memphis, which won its season-best fifth straight. Marc Gasol, in his third game back after missing 23 games with a knee injury, finished with 16 points, and Zach Randolph had 12 points and nine rebounds.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while Rudy Gay scored 19 points. Isaiah Thomas finished with 14 points and nine assists. Jason Thompson had 10 points.
A jump ball between Gay and Tayshaun Prince on the Kings’ end of the court with 1.9 seconds left ended up in Conley’s hands and he dribbled away as the clock ran out. Gasol actually smacked the ball away in the scramble for the jump ball before Conley grabbed it.
Memphis trailed 88-81 with about 4 minutes left, but outscored the Kings 10-2 the rest of the way.
The game was as close as the final score indicated as there were 17 ties and 11 lead changes. The Grizzlies outscored Sacramento 42-40 in the paint, and both teams had eight second-chance points. Cousins’ 17 rebounds helped the Kings outrebound Memphis 43-37.
The Kings pulled within a point at 72-71 at the end of the third quarter by scoring the final two baskets. Cousins had 11 in the quarter as neither team could gain any separation. Any lead was short-lived, though, as there were 10 ties in the third alone, along with five lead changes.
Gay took over to start the fourth, scoring the first eight points by Sacramento, then Thomas scored on a reverse layup and a 3-pointer. That matched the Kings’ biggest lead at 84-77.
The Kings still held a seven-point advantage after Memphis coach Dave Joerger got a technical for arguing a call against Gasol with 4:01 left.
Memphis scored 10 straight points to retake the lead 91-88 with just less than 54.2 seconds remaining. Gay’s rebound basket cut the lead to 91-90 with 39 seconds left.
That set the stage for the final jump ball.
Memphis carried a 44-42 lead into halftime despite the Kings leading through much of the first two quarters. Cousins already was on double-double watch with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Kings also got a burst off the bench from Derrick Williams, who had eight of his 10 points in the first half, missing only one of his four shots in the half.
Conley had 11 to lead Memphis.
The Kings led by as many as seven in the second quarter, but Memphis used nine unanswered points late in the half, including five from Conley, to hold the advantage when the teams headed to the dressing room.
Memphis ended the night shooting 46 percent compared to 41 for the Kings.
NOTES: Memphis has won 13 of the last 15 in the series. … Cousins has double-doubles in his last 13 games, matching LaSalle Thompson’s 13 straight in the mid-80s for the most in Kings franchise history.