Road Reaction: Grizzlies 128, Kings 95

Recap

Box Score

The Sacramento Kings were simply outclassed Saturday evening.  They suffered their second blowout defeat  to the Memphis Grizzlies this season, losing 128-95.

Marc Gasol, O.J. Mayo and Mike Conley Jr. were the catalysts for the Grizzlies in the 33-point blowout.  Both Mayo and Conley tallied 22 points, while Gasol chipped in 20.  The three were practically flawless offensively, shooting for a combined 65 percent from the field.

In defeat, the Kings had standout performances from their bench.  Donte Greene had his best game of the season, chipping in 19 points on eight-of-11 shooting in 33 minutes of action.  Rookie point guard Jimmer Fredette also played well, notching career-highs with 20 points and six assists.

Fredette and Greene’s performances came due to the absences of John Salmons and Marcus Thornton.  The starting Kings small forward sat out tonight’s game due to illness while the Kings sharpshooting guard left the contest two minutes into the second quarter suffering from a stiff left thigh.

Notes and Analysis

  • Jimmer played aggressive, launching and connecting on his first three attempts (all from beyond the arc).  In the first half, he scored 15 points on five-of-nine shooting and notched six assists in just 15 minutes of action.
  • Greene also brought energy off the bench, scoring eight points and racking up five boards in just 17 minutes of action in the first half.  He made four of his first five attempts.
  • Despite their efforts, Greene and Jimmer finished with plus/minuses of minus-eight and -22, respectively.  The Grizzlies offensive prowess and the Kings’ lackluster defense nullified their contributions.
  • The Kings offense couldn’t find the basket in the first quarter, shooting only 36 percent from the field.  A stellar second period bumped their percentage up to a game-high 52 percent shooting.  They eventually finished 41 percent from the field on 36 of 87 attempts.
  • Francisco Garcia started in place of the ailing Salmons, but played only 15 minutes in the blowout.  He finished with three points, three turnovers, three steals and three fouls.
  • An off night for Jason Thompson. In 26 minutes, the Kings big man was just two of nine from the field.  At 55.8 percent, he has been leading the Kings in field-goal percentage this season.
  • Conley Jr. killed the Kings in the first half, scoring 22 points on 10-of-11 shooting.  In the second half Gasol was the difference for Memphis.  He scored 11 of his 13 second-half points in the third quarter.
  • The Grizzlies won the rebounding battle, out-boarding the Kings 51 to 38 Saturday evening.
  • The Grizzlies were eight of 16 from beyond the arc for 50 percent shooting.  The Kings are usually much better at defending the three, holding opponents to 29.6 percent from beyond the arc this season.
  • Stat of the Night: The Grizzlies posted a 58.7 effective field percentage.  The league average is 47.9 percent.

Additional Notes

  • According to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, the Kings will reportedly recall Tyler Honeycutt from the D-League in time for Monday night’s game against Portland.  after Monday night’s game against Portland.

Editor’s note (01-24-12): I erred Honeycutt’s return in reference to Jones’ tweet Saturday night. I corrected the mistake after the Kings officially recalled Honeycutt from the D-League today.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.