Wayne Ellington scored a season-high 26 points off the bench for the Memphis Grizzlies, who played a nearly perfect game against the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, winning 113-81.
The Grizzlies, who are known solely for their defensive prowess, certainly locked up the Kings on Monday. Sacramento turned the ball over a whopping 14 times to Memphis’s eight turnovers. Also worth noting is the fact that the Grizzlies pushed the ball considerably, as they scored 27 fast break points on fueled by eight steals.
Ellington, who’s been nothing more than a role player for Memphis this season, went 6-of-7 from three-point range and 10-of-11 overall. This comes on the heels of a MCL sprain that could’ve put him out for over a month.
Rudy Gay scored just eight points 2-of-10 shooting. Gay, whose name has been tossed around partly in trade rumors over the past few days, has yet to have that one big, breakout game this year, as he hasn’t scored over 30 points in a game once.
The Kings, despite ultimately losing by 32 points, had a lead after one quarter. Jason Thompson and John Salmons both fueled a fast start, and the game would remain close after the first have as well. Memphis went 10-of-18 in the second quarter, but Sacramento nearly matched them shot for shot, shooting 8-of-19.
However, it was the third quarter that highlighted the difference. The Grizzlies outscored the Kings by 16 points, hitting five threes in the quarter, including three by Ellington.
Memphis went on a 10-0 run with 9:06 remaining in the third, and went on another 10-0 run with 6:05 left in the quarter. Ellington’s ten straight points to close the quarter put Sacramento out of the game for good, as they trailed 87-65 after three.
John Salmons was one of the Kings’ lone bright spots, scoring 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
Tyreke Evans, who played in his first game since December 16, logged only 12 minutes, but scored five points.
Ultimately, the Kings couldn’t handle the hot shooting of the Grizzlies, who shot 48.8 percent as a team, and 55 percent from beyond the arc.