Road Reaction: Grizzlies 113, Kings 96

Recap

Box Score

The Sacramento Kings starting unit took the night off tonight, letting Memphis walk all over them in both the first and third quarters.  Rudy Gay led the way for the Grizzlies, scoring 23 points on 10-for-16 shooting, while Sam Young scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench.

Rookie guards Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette came in firing, combining for 32 points, eight rebounds and four assists, but their efforts were in vain as Memphis won easily 113-96.

“Offensively, they are really a good pair,” Westphal said of his rookie tandem on the postgame telecast.  “They both can handle the ball, hit threes and get into the paint.”

Westphal received little help out of his starting backcourt tonight.  Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and John Salmons combined to score just 16 points on 7-for-22 shooting.

“I don’t think we have to have Marcus and Tyreke score big every night,” Westphal added.  “It’s tough when neither one of them can get it going.”

Westphal was vague when asked about DeMarcus Cousins in his post game interview.

“I though he came to do his job in a professional way,” Westphal said. “It’s always a good thing.”

Cousins logged only 22 minutes in his first game back after his benching on Sunday.  He scored four points on 1-of-5 shooting and added eight rebounds.

Notes and Analysis

  • Travis Outlaw woke from his season long slumber tonight, scoring 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting, including 2-for-4 from behind the arc.
  • Rookie Isaiah Thomas was incredible tonight, running circles around the defense and feeding open teammates for easy shots.  He finished with a career high 15 points and chipped in three assists and five rebounds.
  • After starting the game 2-of-8 from the field, Jimmer Fredette finished the game hitting his last four shots and scored 17 points on the night to lead the Kings.
  • J.J. Hickson scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds starting for DeMarcus Cousins.  There is no word yet of who will start tomorrow night in Denver, but don’t bet against Hickson getting his third in a row.
  • John Salmons continued his lackluster play this season.  The veteran wing scored just four points in 14 minutes and was a leaky faucet on defense.  When Gay wasn’t shooting over Salmons, he was being fouled by him.
  • Sam YoungO.J. Mayo and Mike Conley Jr. scored a combined 50 points off the bench for Memphis on 21-for-32 shooting.
  • For the second game in a row, the Kings shot over 80 percent from the free throw line.  The team came into the game last in the league in free throw shooting at 64.7 percent, but tonight, they combined to hit 19-23 for 82.6 percent.
  • Memphis outscored Sacramento 31-17 in the first quarter and 35-18 in the third quarter.  Most of that time, the Kings had their starting unit on the court.
  • Stat of the night:  The Kings had 13 assisted baskets and 19 turnovers.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".