Kings Overcome Horrific Shooting Half, Complete Comeback Win Over Memphis

Dec 22, 2018, 12:00 AM | Updated: Jan 4, 2019, 11:38 am
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

by Matt George 

The Sacramento Kings, one of the best offenses in the NBA, battled the leagues 2nd best defense tonight inside the Golden 1 Center. The Memphis Grizzlies forced the Kings into a lot of perimeter shots, and Sacramento shot less than 30% in the first half. At one point, the Kings were shooting just 5% from the field in the 2nd quarter alone. After scoring just 40 in the first 24 minutes, Sacramento flipped the script down the stretch, scoring 37 in the final quarter and completing the 102-99 comeback win.

“Real credit to our guys tonight for staying with it” said head coach Dave Joerger, “We played a very focused, Memphis physical team – they put their hands on us, they were very physical. We were a little scattered, a little unphysical early but I thought the second half we really came out and just didn’t quit, and just kept coming”.

The Grizzlies had their best shooting game of the season from beyond the arc, knocking down 16 threes, just one off of their franchise record. At one point, Memphis had a commanding 19-point lead.

After a horrible game against Oklahoma City, the Kings’ bench began the push to get the Kings back into the game. When Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox entered for the final eight minutes, the door was open to steal the night and the win. Hield had another big night offensively, shooting himself out of the early slump with 28 total points.

“I thought Buddy Hield – his energy helped us at the defensive end in the second half” said Joerger.

Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley led his team in scoring with 23 points on the night, but was shut down by Fox in the 4th quarter, failing to score in his final eight minutes. Fox finished the night with 14 points, eight assists, five steals, and a handful of defensive plays that don’t show up in the stat sheet.

“It wasn’t our best shooting night but even through that we showed we can win games,” said Fox.

Willie Cauley-Stein has been dealing with a lot of criticism over the last couple days after allowing Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams to score 20 points and grab 23 rebounds Wednesday night. Against Memphis, while not his best performance of the year, Cauley-Stein responded with a double-double and a game high 13 rebounds. He also hit a pair of clutch free throws to close out the game.

The Kings, now 17-15 on the season, host the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday before having the Christmas holidays off. The Pelicans are coming off a loss in Los Angeles to the Lakers.

 

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