Kings cold from behind arc in loss to Grizzlies


Kings cold from behind arc in loss to Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Zach Randolph had 27 points and 15 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies clinched the Western Conference's final playoff spot Friday night with a 101-96 win over the Sacramento Kings.Randolph's two free throws with 4.8 seconds left sealed the victory for the Grizzlies, who head to the postseason for the first time since the 2005-06 season. The victory eliminated Houston from the playoff chase.Marc Gasol added 18 points for Memphis, Tony Allen scored 13, and Mike Conley finished with 12 points and eight assists as Memphis won for the fifth time in six games.Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 18 points, seven of them coming in the final 2:30 to keep the Grizzlies from celebrating too early. Samuel Dalembert had 17 points and 16 rebounds. Tyreke Evans had 16 points, and Jason Thompson had 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting.Memphis weathered a fourth-quarter rally that pulled the Kings to 97-96 with 39 seconds left. But Sacramento could never overtake the Grizzlies.Memphis came out running as if it wanted to claim the playoff spot early, but it didn't take long for the game to settle into another low-scoring affair, where Memphis let a non-playoff team hang close.The Grizzlies were having trouble scoring, and shooting around 40 percent through much of the half. While the Kings shot slightly better, they committed 10 turnovers.Gasol had 13 points at the break to help Memphis carry a 46-43 lead at halftime, but it was not pretty. The Grizzlies shot 38 percent, while the Kings were at 42 percent, and both teams missed all five of their 3-point attempts.Evans had 10 points to lead the Kings.Francisco Garcia nailed the first 3-pointer of the game in the opening minutes of the third quarter, then followed with another. That helped Sacramento retake the lead.Memphis finally turned up the defense, got out running and started getting the ball into Randolph. Allen got a dunk off a Conley steal, and Randolph stole the ball, leading to his own layup for Memphis' biggest lead at that point, 69-57, with 4:11 left in the third.Memphis carried a 77-67 lead into the fourth, led by Randolph's 10 points in the third.The Grizzlies held a 13-point lead in the third before losing to the Clippers 82-81 on Tuesday. This time, Memphis didn't let its opponent get off to a quick start in the final frame, but the Kings, with an offensive burst from Dalmebert and help from Donte Greene, wouldn't allow Memphis to get comfortable.Greene's drive with just over 5 minutes left cut the Memphis lead to 92-85. Dalembert's free throws 2 minutes later pulled the Kings within five.Thornton connected on a 3-pointer with 2:30 left to cap an 8-0 run that cut the lead to 92-90. He would get the Kings even closer with 39 seconds left on a tip-in to cut it to 97-96.Memphis could have made the ending a lot easier but couldn't hit its free throws in the final 50 seconds, connecting on three of six attempts.With the Memphis crowd sensing the end of five years of frustration, they were on their feet as Memphis held a 99-96 lead with 10.3 seconds left and Sacramento inbounding the ball.Thornton's 3-point attempt missed badly, and Randolph was fouled, sinking the final two free throws with 4.8 seconds left.NOTES: Memphis F Shane Battier is the only player who was with the team when the Grizzlies were last in the playoffs five years ago, and he left before the next season in a trade with Houston. He returned this year in another trade with the Rockets. Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was an assistant on the 2005-06 team. ... Kings G Evans, who played one season at the University of Memphis, was given a nice ovation in the pre-game introductions. DeMarcus Cousin, who ended up at Kentucky with former Tiger coach John Calipari, got booed. ... The start of the second quarter was delayed several minutes after the shot clock above one of the baskets was not illuminated. A backup was brought out and put on the floor in the corner.

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win


SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings aren’t done fighting yet. In front of their home crowd, they pulled off their second consecutive shocker, this time dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in dramatic fashion by the final of 91-90.

Darren Collison battled Mike Conley Jr. all night long at the point guard position. After scoring 19 against the Clippers on Sunday, Collison hit the Grizzlies for 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added a team-high seven assists. His free throw with 5.7 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner.

Rookie Buddy Hield continued his hot shooting, scoring 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The 23-year-old shooting guard is quickly establishing himself as a big time scoring option for the Kings moving forward.

Willie Cauley-Stein chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 7-footer Kosta Koufos found success against his former team, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks before fouling out late.

Ty Lawson led the second unit with 10 points, while Anthony Tolliver went 4-of-7 from the field for nine points.

Conley Jr. received the biggest contract in NBA history during the offseason and he showed why Monday against the Kings. The veteran point guard dropped in 22 points and dished out nine assists as the Grizzlies fell to 40-34 on the season.

35-year-old big man Zach Randolph went to work in the post. The 16-year NBA vet dropped in 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, schooling the Kings frontline with the left-handed flip early in the game.

Brandan Wright came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Troy Daniels added 10 points.  

Collison is heating up. Over his last two games, the veteran guard has scored 42 points on 16-for-24 shooting and kept his team in the ballgame.

Despite leading by eight on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, Sacramento couldn’t close the door on the Grizzlies. Collison drew a foul with 5.7 remaining and his team trailing by one. He knocked down both freebies and Randolph missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to help the Kings improve to 29-45 on the season.   

Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter and Tyreke Evans sat for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

The Kings are back at it Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center when the Utah Jazz roll through Sacramento. Following the matchup with Utah, the Kings travel to New Orleans to face former King DeMarcus Cousins on Friday evening.


Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors


SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.