Kings in Memphis to battle Grizzlies

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Kings in Memphis to battle Grizzlies

(APCSN) -- The Sacramento Kings were able to win just hoursafter DeMarcus Cousins was told to stay away from the team for apparentlydemanding a trade. However, the Kings' chances of remaining competitive in theWestern Conference likely increase with the second-year center in the lineup.
REWIND: Kings say DeMarcus Cousins demands a trade
The Memphis Grizzlies' hopes of making a second straightplayoff appearance could be dashed if Zach Randolph can't stay healthy. Cousins could miss a second consecutive game Tuesdaynight when the Kings try to avoid a fourth straight road loss to the Grizzlies,who could be without an injured Randolph.UPDATE: Report -- Cousins on team plane to Memphis
The Kings (2-3) have received solid production fromCousins, who is averaging 13.0 points and a team-best 11.3 rebounds, but he wastold to stay home Sunday by coach Paul Westphal after the team said he asked tobe traded following Saturday's 114-92 loss to New York. It wasn't the first outburst from the 21-year-old since Sacramento drafted himfifth overall in 2010. "Maybe it takes him a couple of more years toreally get it," veteran forward Chuck Hayes said after Sunday's 96-80victory over New Orleans."As good as he is talented, that's how emotional he is as well. You haveto have a short-term memory in this game. That's my young fella, my teammate.If he wants to come back everyone on his team would love to have him." Westphal said in a statement before Sunday's victorythat Cousins' return is "pretty much up to him," but it's uncertainwhen, or if, he'll be back in the Kings' lineup.
"He's a good player and we need him," guardTyreke Evans said after Sacramentowas outrebounded 60-41 on Sunday. On Monday, Cousins issued a statement, claiming he never demanded or requested a trade:
"I want to address my missing the New Orleans game Sunday. I have not demanded or requested a trade. I don't agree with the actions taken but will give my sincere effort to put it behind me and compete the best I can for my team."
The Grizzlies (1-3) need Randolphin the lineup after they were outrebounded 55-40 in Sunday's 104-64 loss at Chicago. Randolph finished with two points and threerebounds after leaving late in the first quarter with a bruised right knee. "This loss had nothing to do with Zach goingdown," coach Lionel Hollins said following the team's most lopsided defeatsince falling 111-66 in Chicagoon Jan. 13, 2007. "We were getting beat up then." The Grizzlies could use Randolphon Tuesday after he averaged team highs of 26.5 points and 13.8 rebounds as Memphis took three of four from Sacramento in 2010-11.
Even if he doesn't play, the Grizzlies could get a niceboost with the return of starting point guard Mike Conley, who has missed thelast two games with a sprained left ankle. Conley averaged 9.8 points and 6.0 assists last seasonagainst the Kings.
RELATED: NBA standings
In Sacramento's last game at FedEx Forum, Randolph had27 points and 15 rebounds and Conley added 12 points with eight assists as theGrizzlies clinched the West's final playoff spot with a 101-96 victory April 8.Memphishad its best offensive performance of the season in the Kings' previous visit,a 120-92 win Feb. 26. Evans, who played one season at the University of Memphisbefore being drafted fourth overall by Sacramentoin 2009, scored a season-high 27 points Sunday. He is averaging 22.0 points,6.5 boards and 5.0 assists in two games visiting the Grizzlies. Memphis has won 11 of 14at home against Sacramentosince the beginning of the 2003-04 season.
STATS LLC and the Associated Press contributed to his report

Kings' offense struggles, losing streak now at four after loss in Memphis

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USATSI

Kings' offense struggles, losing streak now at four after loss in Memphis

BOX SCORE

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Marc Gasol had 28 points and nine rebounds, Mike Conley added 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and the Memphis Grizzlies coasted to a 107-91 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

The Grizzlies used the 3-point shooting of Gasol and Zach Randolph to build the advantage to 19 at the end of the third quarter. At that point, Sacramento coach Dave Joerger sat his starters as Memphis eventually would build the advantage to 22 in the fourth.

Randolph finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Tony Allen also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Sacramento has lost seven of its last eight.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Garrett Temple added 14 points and Ty Lawson had 13.

Memphis finished 11 of 28 from 3-point range, with Gasol hitting 3 of 6, and Randolph going 2 of 3.

Meanwhile, the Kings struggled with 41 percent shooting overall, and 6 of 29 from outside the arc.

Gasol had 16 points in the third, including a trio of 3-pointers. Randolph's 35-footer for another 3-pointer as the quarter ended capped a 12-2 run, providing the Grizzlies with an 83-64 lead entering the fourth.

The fight was out of the Kings at that point as Joerger relied on the bench to close the game.

As has been the case in recent games, Memphis got off to a slow start, missing its first five shots and shooting 30 percent in the first quarter. That helped the Kings to a nine-point lead.

Memphis would recover in the second quarter behind a rebounding edge and points off seven Sacramento turnovers. The Grizzlies would match the Kings' nine-point lead in the half before carrying a 49-42 lead into the break. Gasol and Vince Carter had 11 apiece for Memphis, while Cousins had 16 points before intermission.

The second-quarter performance, coupled with Gasol's scoring in the third, provided Memphis with a 68-41 advantage spanning the middle two quarters.

TIP-INS

Kings: Sacramento played its first game without starting F Rudy Gay, the team's second-leading scorer at 18.7 points a game, who sustained a season-ending Achilles tendon injury in Wednesday's loss to Houston. .Cousins received a technical foul near the end of the first half, his 14th of the season. .Cousins recorded his 21st double-double of the season.

Grizzlies: Reserve G Troy Daniels left the game in the second quarter with a right knee injury and did not return. . Memphis had 11 3-pointers. The Grizzlies have made at least 10 3-pointers in 21 games this season, including 12 of the last 16.

LONG AND WINDING ROAD:

Friday's game in Memphis was the start of an eight-game road trip for Sacramento. Next stop on the journey: Chicago to face the Bulls on Saturday. This marks the second time in three years the Kings have had an eight-game trip. "You just kind of go on tour," Joerger said. "Play some games and go to the next place and play a game and 'where do I sleep tonight' and 'what hotel room number have I got.'"

UP NEXT

Kings: Continue their eight-game road trip facing the Bulls in Chicago.

Grizzlies: Memphis continues a three-game homestand with a Saturday game against the Houston Rockets — a rare back-to-back of home games. Memphis last played consecutive games at home in April, 2015.

NBA Gameday: Kings begin life without Gay against Grizzlies

NBA Gameday: Kings begin life without Gay against Grizzlies

The Sacramento Kings begin their eight-game road trip Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies and they’ll have to do it without the services of Rudy Gay. Sacramento’s starting small forward went down in the third quarter of the Kings’ loss to the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night and will miss the remainder of the season with a ruptured left Achilles tendon. 

Gay isn’t the only ailing player for the Kings. Omri Casspi is out 1-2 weeks with a strained calf muscle, leaving coach Dave Joerger shorthanded at the wing position. Joerger has used Garrett Temple, Arron Afflalo, Matt Barnes and Ben McLemore at the three and will need someone to step forward and help pick up the slack without Gay’s 18.7 points per game. 

Memphis has hit a rough patch in their schedule. The Grizzlies have dropped three of their last four games, including two straight, but they are still tied for the sixth spot in the Western Conference playoff chase. Rookie head coach David Fizdale has a veteran group that coach Joerger knows well after coaching in Memphis the previous three seasons.  

OPENING LINE 

Grizzlies by 6.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

DeMarcus Cousins vs. Marc Gasol -- Cousins has carried plenty of weight for the Kings this season, but his team is going to need even more from the big fella with the loss of Gay. Cousins is averaging a career-best 4.4 assists and over his last three games, he’s posted a whopping 9.3 dimes per game. Gasol is having his best scoring season of his nine-year career, leading the Grizzlies at 19.6 points per game. Like Cousins, Gasol can really move the ball and he’s added the 3-point shot to his game this season.

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 16-25, third place in Pacific
Grizzlies: 25-19, third place in Southwest

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: SF Rudy (left Achilles tendon) out for the season, SF Omri Casspi (calf strain) out, PG Ty Lawson (left ankle) questionable.
Grizzlies: F Brandan Wright (ankle) out, F Deyonta Davis (foot) questionable.

SERIES HISTORY 

These two clubs have split the season series 1-1, with each team picking up a win on the road. The Kings hold a 44-36 record against the Grizzlies all-time.  

QUOTE

“We’ve got an eight game road trip, we’ve got to come together closer and closer, not drift apart.” Ty Lawson following the loss of Rudy Gay