The constant theme of the game was a frustrating one. The Kings would have a double-digit lead, then Memphis would erase it quickly. Repeat this for 48 minutes and that’s exactly how this game went. Sacramento could’ve put this game away easily, instead they decided to make it interesting. Referees called crazy calls in favor of Memphis, but the Kings held on in a wild game.
Injury notes: Marvin Bagley, Richaun Holmes and Alex Len all out for Sacramento. Grayson Allen and Justice Winslow out for Memphis.
The Kings got off to a rapid hot start through the hands of Harrison Barnes, who finished off some excellent ball movement and hit threes. Barnes hit three catch and shoot threes in a row, then made it four on a step back after nearly losing the ball out of bounds. The Grizzlies only found success when they attacked the rim which they should've done more often, but because of the Kings' shooting, they fell to a 25-11 deficit. Sacramento, unsurprisingly, wasn't able to sustain that double-digit lead for much long as Jaren Jackson Jr. hit a three to get a Memphis run going. Kent Bazemore scored eight points off the bench including a three as the Kings led 37-35 after one.
Sacramento grew their lead to double-digits again thanks to Bazemore’s offensive efforts. Jabari Parker couldn’t get any momentum going, starting off 0-4 and being rejected on drives to the rim twice. Parker eventually made two free throws for his first points as a King. But after, Parker drove aggressively again only to force it off the backboard to start 0-5 from the field. Barnes drilled another three to be the opposite of Parker’s stat line, now shooting 5-5 from three. Dillon Brooks for Memphis continued to succeed when getting to the rim, but the same could not be said for the Kings who missed good looks. Memphis went on a 8-0 run to close the double-digit gap at the end of the half. Buddy Hield made a fallaway corner three to keep some cushion. Barnes made another catch and shoot three at the buzzer and was now 6-6 from deep. Incredible. Kings led 69-61 at the half.
De’Aaron Fox started the second half very aggressive, attacking the rim when the defense wasn’t set and then pulling up for a three when there was enough space in front of him. Fox later made another three to take his point total up to 17. However on defense, Harry Giles buried himself in foul trouble with four and the bench was where he spent the rest of the quarter. Barnes swished another three to make it 7-7 on the day. Parker threw done a one-handed jam after Bjelica carved up the defense and picked him out. An 18 point lead was quickly cut to 10 after Jackson Jr. caught fire from three. Memphis were on a 14-2 run and cut the lead to six. Memphis later cut the lead to four but a Bjelica three pushed it back to 97-90 to end the third.
Memphis got right to the rim to score a layup to open the fourth but Hield found an open Bazemore for a triple to respond. Hield then drove to the rim and finished a tough layup and on the following possession, he threw down a big dunk after a fastbreak that came from a steal. The Kings lost their lead once more and the Grizzlies cut it to 108-104. Cory Joseph hit a big three to keep the lead floating and then Fox made two big jumpers, including a stepback three. Giles took a charge and the Kings got another possession. Of course the Kings made it interesting instead of closing it out easily.
Harrison Barnes wielded the hot hands the entire game. He made his first seven three point attempts before finally missing en route to a big shooting night. Barnes ended the hot night with 32 points including 7-11 three point shooting, one rebound, one assist and one steal.
De’Aaron Fox turned it up a notch in the second half and also shot much better from three in a long time. Aggressive Fox is always the best Fox and he finished with 26 points with 4-6 coming from three along with four assists, two rebounds and a steal.
Kent Bazemore contributed big time off the bench on both ends of the floor. Bazemore finished with 18 points on 6-10 shooting with 2-3 from three and three rebounds.
Buddy Hield led the bench in scoring with 20 points. His three ball was off fresh off winning the contest over the weekend, but made all eight of his free throws. Buddy added four assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Kings shot 19-39 from three, good for 48.7%. Memphis shot 12-30, also a good mark for 40%.
Memphis out-rebounded the Kings 51-27 and had more assists at 25-22.
Memphis turned it over 19 times to just 10 for the Kings.
Sacramento held an 18 point lead, which was the largest of the game. Memphis’ largest was two and they almost snuck away with a win.
The Kings will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers Saturday at 12:30 p.m. PST. Not your normal time. They defeated the Clips last time on the road not too long ago, but the Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard.