Road Reaction: Memphis Grizzlies 108, Sacramento Kings 101

The Sacramento Kings had an answer for every run the Memphis Grizzlies threw at them.

Until midway through the third quarter.

Trailing by nine points in the period after intermission, the Kings went on a 10-2 run to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to two with just under six minutes to go.  But the Grizzlies answered and outscored the Kings 16-6 to close the period and with that run, Memphis never looked back.  They escaped with a 108-101 victory over the Kings inside the FedExForum on Tuesday night.

The Kings drop to 19-34 overall and 5-22 on the road.  They finish off their quick two-game trip before the All-Star break with a visit to Dallas tomorrow night.

Notes and Analysis

  • Tyreke Evans stormed out of gates in his old college stomping grounds.  The Kings guard scored 10 points in the first quarter.  He cooled down in the following three quarters and would finish with only 20 points on 10-of-17 shooting, three assists and seven rebounds.  His primary struggles came at the charity stripe tonight, where he attempted and missed all four of his free throws.
  • Marcus Thornton played a mixed bag of a game tonight in Memphis.  He finished with 15 points, 11 of which he scored in the first half.  However, he shot just 4-of-12 from the field.  His shots weren’t forced and most came within the flow of the offense, but Thornton just had trouble again buying a bucket tonight.
  • For whatever reason, Tony Allen comes to play against the Kings.  Prior to tonight’s match-up, Allen had averaged 12 points, seven rebounds, and five assists against Sacramento this season.  By halftime, he matched his scoring average against the Kings with 12 first-half points.  Allen finished the game with 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists in the victory.
  • Aaron Brooks was the first and only point guard off the bench for the Kings.  He played a pretty solid game offensively, chipping in 10 points on 4-of-6 shots while totaling four assists and two steals in 20 minutes.  Defensively, it was another story.  Brooks let Mike Conley go off in the final period, where the Grizzlies guard scored 10 of his 22 points.
  • The Kings passed well in the first half, tallying 15 assists before halftime.  But their ball movement stagnated in the second half where they dished out only five assists.  They finished with 20 assists and 14 turnovers.
  • Stat of Night:  The Grizzlies won their 16th game in which they scored 100 points or more.  They are a perfect 16-0 this season when they break the century mark.

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  What kind of impact will John Salmons make on tonight’s game?

Salmons didn’t make a dent on tonight’s game.  Tayshaun Prince defended and contained the veteran wing, who had scored double figures in his previous two games.  Salmons had some nice open looks and good opportunities, but just couldn’t get the ball to fall into the hoop.  The 33-year-old forward finished with just two points on 1-of-5 shooting and missed all three of his 3-point attempts.

2.  Can the Kings stay hot from beyond the arc?

After shooting 48 percent from long range in their previous two games, the Kings came back down to earth in Memphis.  Tonight, they made just 4-of-16 attempts for a lowly 25 percent from 3-point distance.  From the tip, the Kings didn’t set themselves up for a good night from long range.  In the first quarter, they missed all four of their 3-point attempts.

3.  Will the Grizzlies hold the Kings under 90 points?

For the first two and a half periods, the Grizzlies couldn’t contain the Kings.  Sacramento controlled the pace and it worked to their advantage.  However, the Grizzlies turned up their defense late in the third quarter and picked up their scoring as well.  The Kings did become the first team to break the century mark against the Grizzlies this year, but 101 points wasn’t enough to leave Memphis with a win.

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