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Memphis 107 - Sacramento 91: Kings Hammered in Memphis

This may be a long forty games.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Dave Joerger tried something new tonight with the injuries to Rudy Gay and Omri Casspi affecting the wing rotation. He inserted Arron Afflalo into the starting lineup, alongside Darren Collison, Garrett Temple, Kosta Koufos, and DeMarcus Cousins and while I can admire the effort to try and fill the hole at small forward, the lack of offensive firepower at the three spot was on full display tonight.

Sacramento took a 9-0 lead to begin the contest, but immediately gave up an 11-0 run to Memphis in full Kangz fashion. The Kings kept it close in the fist half behind solid halves from Cousins (16 points, 6 rebounds) and Ty Lawson (11 points), but were outrebounded by 11 boards and the game seemed to be slipping away by halftime as the Grizzlies won the quarter 34-19.

The second quarter ended rather oddly as DeMarcus Cousins picked up his third personal foul because he was caught reaching in on a Marc Gasol drive with 2.7 seconds left in the quarter. Boogie took exception to the fact that he was caught in the face from an elbow and, shockingly, argued with an official. The referee gave him some leeway, but eventually T’d him up for his twelfth technical foul of the season. Mike Conley made the free throw and Gasol made both of his from the initial personal foul. Tony Allen then went on to foolishly hit Ty Lawson on the arm as he was attempting a desperation three point attempt with 0.1 seconds remaining and Ty went on to hit two of three free throws to bring the Kings to within seven points, down 49-42.

The third quarter was another beat down as Sacramento couldn’t stop the Grizzly offense and the Kings couldn’t buy a bucket. Marc Gasol torched DeMarcus Cousins for 15 points in the period and Zach Randolph chipped in 7 points of his own. For the second quarter in a row, the Kings offense was nowhere to be found and they only recorded 22 points compared to the Grizzlies 34.

The lead stretched out in the final quarter and it was essentially garbage time. Thankfully, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, and Malachi Richardson all played more than a few seconds!

Game Notes:

  • With a win over the Blazers, the Sixers have now pulled to within a half game of the Kings in the standings. Philadelphia is 8-2 in their last 10 games while Sacramento is 2-8 in the same span of time.
  • The Kings were outrebounded 58-35 tonight and that’s simply inexcusable for a team starting two centers. There probably aren’t a ton of wins left for Sacramento this season and getting killed on the boards certainly isn’t going to help.
  • Darren Collison was a complete no-show tonight, posting 4 points (2/7 FG), 3 rebounds, and 4 assists in 27 minutes of action. The Kings have no hope of competing if our starting point guard continues to put those kinds of numbers up.
  • In a similar performance to Al Jefferson on Wednesday night, Zach Randolph came in off of the bench and killed the Kings with 20 points, 10 rebounds on only 14 shots.
  • DeMarcus Cousins had his second awful third and fourth quarters in a row. Tonight, he only scored 3 points and took 2 shots in is 10 minutes played.
  • Malachi Richardson and Skal Labissiere both saw their most significant action of the season tonight. Malachi had 1 point, 1 rebound, and 1 assist while Skal had 3 points and 3 rebounds in just under six minutes.