Notebook: Grizzlies 89, Kings 87



Posted Apr 8, 2013 6:37 AM

By James Ham, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Sacramento Kings fought the playoff bound Memphis Grizzlies all the way down to the wire, but eventually lost a heartbreaker 89-87 Sunday.

Mike Conley led the way for the Grizzlies (52-25), finishing with a game-high 25 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Marc Gasol anchored the post for Memphis, scoring 15 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking five shots, including Marcus Thornton's potential game-winner at the buzzer. Quincy Pondexter provided a big punch off the bench, dropping in 17 points in 23 minutes, while Tony Allen set the tone defensively.

The Kings (27-50) struggled all night to find the basket, shooting just 35.8 percent from the field. DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds, but played just 30 minutes due to foul trouble. Isaiah Thomas bounced back from a rough first half to scoring 17 of his 18 points after the break. Thomas added eight assists and six rebounds on the night, while Toney Douglas and Jimmer Fredette came off the bench to score a combined 27 points on 8-for-17 shooting.

QUOTABLE: "I got lucky."

--Marc Gasol on his block of Thornton's 3-point attempt as time expired

THE STAT: The Kings shot 32.6 percent (14-for-43) from the floor in the first half and somehow still led 44-43 going to the break.

TURNING POINT: This game was in doubt all the way up to the moment when Gasol blocked a 3-point attempt by Marcus Thornton as time expired.

QUOTABLE II: "We switched, he couldn't throw it back and then he didn't have much time left to do something else."

--Marc Gasol on the final sequence of the game

HOT: Conley cut through the Kings defense all night. The Kings had no secondary line of defense and Conley took advantage. ... With the Kings struggling to find the basket the entire first half, Kings coach Keith Smart turned to seldom-used Fredette for some offense. The second-year guard out of BYU responded with 10 points on 2-for-4 shooting from the field and 5-for-6 from the line in 10 minutes of action before intermission.

NOT: The four players starting alongside Cousins -- Thomas, Tyreke Evans, John Salmons and Jason Thompson, scored six total points on a combined 1-for-12 from the field in the first half. ... Randolph finished with nine points on 4-for-13 shooting in 36 minutes.

BAD MOVE: Thornton played 31 minutes tonight, scoring just six points on 2-for-13 shooting from the field and 2-for-8 shooting from behind the arc. He probably shouldn't have been the guy with the ball in his hands for the final 5.4 seconds of the game.

NOTABLE: For the first time in the Grizzlies' 18-year franchise history, they swept the Sacramento Kings in the season series. Patrick Patterson was a late scratch for the Kings with a sore back. Pondexter tied his career-high with 17 points.

UP NEXT: For the Grizzlies, Tuesday vs. Bobcats, Friday @ Houston, Saturday vs. Clippers. For the Kings, Wednesday vs. New Orleans, Friday @ San Antonio, Sunday @ Houston.