The Sacramento Kings couldn’t hold a seven-point lead with four minutes to play and lost a 91-90 heartbreaker to the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedExForum Friday night. It was Memphis’ fifth straight win and dropped Sacramento to 1-2 on its current six-game road swing.
Sacramento had the ball with a chance to take the lead, but Rudy Gay got tied up by Tayshayn Prince with 1.9 seconds left without Sacramento getting off a shot. Prince tipped the ball to Mike Conley off the jump ball and the Grizzlies’ point guard ran out the clock.
The Kings (14-24) took an 88-81 lead during an odd sequence. After Marc Gasol was whistled for his fifth foul for the Grizzlies (20-19), DeMarcus Cousins missed the first of two free throws. Between shots, Memphis coach Dave Joerger was slapped with a technical foul. Gay made the technical free throw, then Cousins hit the second of his two shots.
But the Grizzlies seemed to be inspired by the coach’s fire. Conley hit a running banker from about seven feet out to make it 88-83 and got out on the break after a Cousins miss, with Conley taking an outlet from Gasol and hitting Prince for a layup to pull to within 88-85.
After a timeout by the Kings, Gay missed a jumper and Conley made it a one-point game with another runner off the backboard, this one from 10 feet.
Isaiah Thomas misfired on a 3-pointer for Sacramento and Cousins fouled Gasol with 1:55 left. Gasol hit both free throws to give Memphis an 89-88 lead, the Grizzlies’ first lead since it was 75-73 early in the fourth quarter.
Memphis completed a 9-0 run with 54.2 seconds left when Courtney Lee drilled a pair of free throws.
Gay thundered home a dunk off a Cousins miss with 38.9 seconds left to make it 91-90 and the Kings got a big defensive stop when Gasol missed a 19-footer.
After a timeout , the Kings advanced the ball to halfcourt, but Cousins finished with 22 points and 17 rebounds for the Kings. Gay added 19 points, Thomas scored 14 to go with nine assists and Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams tossed in 10 points apiece.
Conley scored 25 points and had six assists for the Grizzlies. Lee had 17 points, Gasol finished with 16 points and four blocked shots and Zach Randolph logged 12 points, nine rebounds and also had four blocks.
Sacramento was 33-for-81 (40.7 percent) overall, 5-for-11 (45.5 percent) from 3-point range and 19-for-23 (82.6 percent) from the foul line. Memphis was 36-for-78 (46.2 percent), 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) and 13-for-18 (72.2 percent).
The Kings had a 43-37 rebounding advantage and allowed 10 points off 15 turnovers, while converting 10 Grizzlies giveaways into nine points. It was a close game throughout, with neither team leading by more than seven points and featuring 17 ties and 11 lead changes.
The Kings head to Oklahoma City Sunday evening for a 4 p.m. Pacific tipoff.
Tags: Sacramento Kings