It’s been twelve straight years that the Sacramento Kings have missed the playoffs. The last time they were in the playoffs was in 2006 when Rick Adelman was the head coach. The Kings ended up losing in the first round to Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs, 2-4. Since then, they have yet to be above .500 until this season, winning 52 percent of their games.
The Kings are, however, trying to break a two-game losing streak and avoid a third straight loss at home. They are pretty confident that they can do so as the Memphis Grizzlies will be visiting California to take them on tonight. The Grizzlies have lost four in a row and if they fail to win tonight, they will suffer their longest losing streak of the season at five.
The Sacramento Kings and the Memphis Grizzlies have met up a grand total of 87 times in the past as the Kings won 47 games while the Grizzlies were kept to 40 victories. This game tonight will mark the third of four meetings between these two teams this season. November 16 was the last time they saw each other as the Grizzlies defeated the Kings, 112-104. Jaren Jackson finished that game with 27 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks while De’Aaron Fox had 23 points, 4 rebounds, 10 assists, and 2 steals.
-Dillon Brooks (knee; 6.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 40.9 FG%, 36.8 3P%, 77.8 FT%)
-Chandler Parsons (knee; 5.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.7 APG, 41.2 FG%, 30.0 3P%)
-D.J. Stephens (G-League; 2.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.0 APG, 50.0 FG%)
-Omri Casspi (illness; 5.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.9 APG, 56.3 FG%, 36.0 3P%, 60.5 FT%)
-Joakim Noah (heel; 4.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, 45.5 FG%, 64.3 FT%)
-Ivan Rabb (coach’s decision; 2.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.7 APG, 63.2 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 71.4 FT%)
-Yuta Watanabe (coach’s decision; 1.3 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 0.0 APG, 33.3 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 100.0 FT%)
-Marvin Bagley (knee; 12.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, 53.6 FG%, 34.6 3P%, 68.3 FT%)
-Skal Labissiere (coach’s decision; 3.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 40.0 FG%, 30.0 3P%, 54.5 FT%)
-Frank Mason (coach’s decision; 5.2 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, 39.3 FG%, 19.0 3P%, 71.4 FT%)
-Ben McLemore (coach’s decision; 2.2 PPG, 0.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 20.7 FG%, 31.6 3P%, 66.7 FT%)
-Troy Williams (G-League; 5.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.6 APG, 46.0 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 60.0 FT%)
-Harry Giles (G-League; 5.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 47.6 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 52.0 FT%)
-Wenyen Gabriel (G-League)
The Memphis Grizzlies would have complete control in the first half as they shot 54 percent from the field, keeping the Sacramento Kings at a very low 29 percent completion. Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. ended up scoring 12 points while recording 4 rebounds, one assist, and 2 blocks. Jackson Jr. knocked down a trey in the first period while Mike Conley also dropped 12 points, earning all of them from beyond the arc.
New Jersey-native Kyle Anderson chipped in with 8 points on a perfect 100 percent shooting from the floor. Marc Gasol was kept to just five points in the 18 minutes that he played but was able to hit a three-pointer late in the first quarter. He was also able to grab 5 rebounds but ended up turning the ball over four times. Shelvin Mack played the most minutes off the bench as he earned seven points, hitting a trey in the first period.
On the other end of the floor, Iman Shumpert, who has missed the previous three games, scored 11 of the Kings’ 40 first-half points. He was able to knock down two three-pointers in the second quarter while De’Aaron Fox helped out with nine points on 38 percent shooting. Fox ended up hitting a trey in the first quarter while dishing off 4 assists and committing 3 steals.
The 2016-2017 All-Rookie selection Buddy Hield contributed with six points but shot a team-low 18 percent from the floor in the first half. He earned all six points from behind the three-point line while grabbing five rebounds. Willie Cauley-Stein only had four points in the 19 minutes that he played but did happen to get his hands on 8 boards. Former Minnesota Timberwolves’ forward Nemanja Bjelica played 15 minutes off the bench but was kept scoreless as the Memphis Grizzlies walked into the locker room with a commanding 53-40 advantage.
The home team would make an incredible comeback as they sparked up a huge 62 to 46 run, shooting 48 percent from the field. During this comeback, Hield added to his scoring total as he lit the floor up with 22 points, hitting four treys in the fourth period. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 12 points off the bench while hitting 3 three-pointers in the process.
Shumpert quieted down in after an impressive first half, going completely scoreless in the second half. Cauley-Stein chipped in with eight points while recording five rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Bjelica played the most minutes off the Kings’ bench as he dropped eleven more points.
As for the visiting team, Garrett Temple tried to keep the Grizzlies in it as he dropped 15 points, shooting 83 percent from the field. He was able to drill 3 three-pointers while Conley had eleven more points. JaMychal Green scored four points off the bench but it wouldn’t matter as the Sacramento Kings succeed in the attempted comeback, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies, 102-99. Buddy Hield finished the game with 28 points, 8 rebounds, one assist, and one steal while Mike Conley had 23 points, a season-high-tying 7 rebounds, 5 assists, one steal, and one block.
The Memphis Grizzlies will stay in California to take on LeBron James (28.0 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 7.0 APG, 52.0 FG%, 36.7 3P%) and the Los Angeles Lakers (18-13) on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. This will mark the second of three times that these teams will see each other during this season. The last time they battled each other was on December 8 when the Lakers handed the Grizzlies a blowout loss, 111-88. During that game, Kyle Kuzma scored 20 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, dished off 6 assists, committed one steal and blocked one shot. LeBron James also had 20 points, along with 8 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 steals while Wayne Selden finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and one block.
The Sacramento Kings will host Anthony Davis (28.0 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 4.7 APG, 50.4 FG%, 33.8 3P%) and the New Orleans Pelicans (15-17) on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. This will be the second of four games that these two ball clubs will play against each other this season. October 19 was the last time they played each other as the Pelicans escaped with a huge 149-129 victory. Nikola Mirotic finished the game with 36 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists while Willie Cauley-Stein settled for 20 points, 7 rebounds, and one assist.