The Grizzlies looked to be in control of the game midway through the 2nd quarter, but the young Kings continued to attack the paint and get easy buckets in transition on their way to a 97-92 win over Memphis.
How It Unfolded
Jaren Jackson Jr., the #4 overall pick in the NBA Draft, scored 8 first quarter points that included a driving basket from the perimeter on #2 overall pick, Marvin Bagley. Wayne Selden (13 points) and Omri Casspi closed out the first quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers as the Grizzlies held a 28-19 lead after the first quarter.
The Grizzlies lead grew to 14 on a floater from Selden, but Sacramento was able to cut the lead to 8 before halftime and gain some momentum heading into the second half. A 17-8 run that brought the score within 1, at 60-59 with 6:12 remaining in the 3rd quarter was led by the backcourt duo of De’Aaron Fox (21 points) and Buddy Hield (23 points) who continued to get inside the paint for easy buckets.
A Mike Conley 3 and a Jackson bucket that came via a Conley pick-n-roll gave the Grizzlies an early 4th quarter lead, but it wouldn’t last much longer. The Grizzlies took bad shots and had several costly turnovers that led to fast break points for the Kings, who ousted the Grizz 20-7 in that category.
DE’-AIR-ON FOX ⁰⁰
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) October 25, 2018
This led to Sacramento putting the Grizzlies away despite Fox missing 5 free throws in the final 5 minutes, an 8-second violation, and a 5-second inbounding violation. Marc Gasol (10 points, 10 rebounds), failed to score in the 2nd half and left the game midway through the 4th quarter with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.
Sacramento came into the game ranked 1st in the NBA in team FG% (52.7), 3rd in 3PT% (41.2), 3rd in points in the paint (67), and 4th in PPG (122). Memphis was able to hold Sacramento to just 97 points on 42% shooting from the field, including 33.3% from deep and 54 points in the paint.
Wayne Selden hit back-to-back triples in the 3rd quarter before picking off an errant Sacramento pass and igniting a fast break that led to a Shelvin Mack layup. Selden finished with 13 points and went 3 for 6 from long range.
— FOX Sports Grizzlies (@GrizzliesOnFSSE) October 25, 2018
Jaren Jackson Jr. continues to impress even though he struggled from the field, shooting just 38% and missing all 3 of his attempts from deep. Jackson finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds in 30 minutes before fouling out in the 4th.
Marc Gasol left the game with an injury, which is never a good thing. Prior to Gasol leaving the game, the Grizzlies offense was as stagnant as it has been all year throughout this second half. Gasol was 0-6 in the second half before the injury, and without scoring from the big fella it will be hard for Memphis to win games.
The Grizzlies were able to muster just 37 points against the Kings in the second half. This is not a defensive juggernaut, this is the Kings, and the Grizzlies simply settled for too many jumpers and had too many turnovers leading to easy points.
Memphis shot just 13 free throws compared to 33 for Sacramento, as the Grizzlies continuously settled for outside jumpers (read: BAD SHOTS) instead of attacking the weak interior defense of the Kings. Memphis finished with 25 fouls as opposed to 15 for the Kings.
The Grizzlies on-ball defense continues to be half-hearted, allowing guards to easily penetrate to the paint whenever they want and either shoot the short jumper/floater or dump it off to a big or an open shooter in the corner. As good as the defense has been, this has got to get better or teams will continue to make the Grizzlies pay.
Blue Note Bourbon Player of the Game
Mike Conley: 27 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists
[Feature Image: Ed Szczepanski/ USAT]