by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

Matching a season-high three straight victories, the Sacramento Kings had an answer for every Memphis Grizzlies run and defeated them 119-110 at Power Blanace Pavilion Tuesday evening.

“We’re just going to keep playing how we’re playing right now,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart during his postgame comments.  “We’re not changing anything that we do.  We had a win streak, but we’re not taking a day off.”

Five Kings players scored in double-figures.  Leading the charge was Marcus Thornton, who finished with 31 points, six assists and three steals.  The Kings guard has scored at least 30 points in two of Sacramento’s last three games.

All of Memphis’ starters reached double-digits.  All-Star big man Marc Gasol nearly recorded a triple-double, finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

The Kings improve to 17-29 overall and 13-9 at home.  They wrap up their nine-game homestand with a against the Utah Jazz Thursday.


Notes and Analysis

  • “I felt like I was in Space Jam and I was trying to get my powers back.” Tyreke Evans on returning to the line-up after missing the last two games with a sprained left ankle.  He scored 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting in 24 minutes off the bench.  Evans offered to play as a reserve in favor of teammate John Salmons – more on that story in the video below.
  • From the jump, Thornton was spectacular.  In the first quarter alone, the LSU alum scored 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting.
  • Isaiah Thomas had a somewhat similar hot start.  The rookie went 4-for-4 in the first quarter, scoring nine points and handing out three assists.  Thomas finished with a stealth-like 18 point, seven assist, five rebound night.
  • Jason Thompson’s double-double streak continues.  The big fella out of Rider scored 14 points, snatched 13 rebounds and also recorded four assists.
  • DeMarcus Cousins fouled out, but not before he pinned 23 points on Gasol.  There was no question that Cousins was the more dominant big man tonight.  Gasol’s stats were nice, but a lot of those numbers came against a much shorter Chuck Hayes.
  • After two solid efforts off the bench, Zach Randolph started for the first time since returning from injury.  Thompson ran circles around the former All-Star big, who scored only 13 points on 15 shot attempts.
  • Rudy Gay is one of the toughest match-ups in the league for the Kings.  John Salmons did a bang up job and he still finished with a team high 23 points on 8-for-15 shooting.
  • The legend of Hassan Whiteside grows.  The 7-footer out of Marshall blocked two shots tonight in roughly three minutes of action.  With J.J. Hickson out of the picture, Whiteside might get more burn.
  • Jimmer Fredette had one of his least productive games as a pro.  He finished with a single three point attempt and no other stat in almost six minutes of action.
  • The Kings continue to move the ball extremely well, finishing with 28 assists on the night.  When the ball moves, the field goal percentage goes up.  Tonight, the Kings shot a stellar 53.4 percent from the field on their way to the nine-point victory.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings shot better than 60 percent from the field in three quarters of play: 64 percent in the first period, 61.9 percent in the second period, and 61.5 percent in the fourth period.

Bonus Video: Head Coach Keith Smart, Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans on the 2009 Rookie of the Year’s selfless act to come off the bench in his return.