SACRAMENTO -- The Kings returned home and were exploited by the Grizzlies in a 97-85 loss at Sleep Train Arena.
The Kings turned the ball over 23 times leading to 23 points for Memphis.
Sacramento (9-8) was toiling for the second consecutive game without DeMarcus Cousins due to a virus -– this time versus the Grizzlies (15-2), owners of the best record in the Western Conference of the NBA.
[RELATED: Virus to keep Cousins out vs. Grizzlies]
Memphis entered the final stanza leading Sacramento 74-65 but the Kings cut the lead to three twice -– the second time at 79-76 on a Ben McLemore free throw with 6:27 left in the game.
Memphis responded by outscoring Sacramento 18-9 en route to the road win over the Kings.
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol went for 22 and 18 points, respectively leading five Grizzlies in double figures in a winning effort for the visitors.
Rudy Gay led Sacramento with 22 points. McLemore added 18 and Darren Collison contributed 16 points.
Reggie Evans, who Kings coach Michael Malone had not played in the previous seven games, went for a double-double of 17 points and 20 rebounds.
After Ryan Hollins, who was starting for Cousins, was ejected in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul. The 6-foot-8 power forward picked up the slack for not only Hollins but also the absent Cousins.
The Grizzlies started the game on a 7-0 run and led at the end of the first 12 minutes 28-20, a score propelled by 13 points from Randolph.
The Kings allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 68 percent from the floor in the second quarter as Memphis ascended to a 21-point lead before entering halftime trailing 58-42.
Jon Leuer and former King Beno Udrih came off the bench to contribute seven and six points, respectively, while Gasol matched Leuer’s production.
A 14-4 run by Sacramento cut the Grizzlies' lead to 65-58 with 4:35 to go in the third quarter.
Then an Omri Casspi runner narrowed the Memphis lead again to seven with 28.1 seconds to go.
Courtney Lee responded with a layup with 3.9 seconds to go in the third period to create the nine-point separation heading to the fourth quarter.
STANDOUT PERFORMER: Zach Randolph was too tough to handle, scoring 22 points and corralling an impressive 12 rebounds.
TURNING POINT: Memphis took the wheel on the road in the fourth quarter after the Kings cut the lead to three for the second time. They would outscore Sacramento 18-9 over the final 6:27 to seal the victory.
INJURY UPDATE: Sacramento – C DeMarcus Cousins (virus) was out while F Rudy Gay (right Achilles tendinitis), G Darren Collison (left quadriceps contusion) and G Ramon Sessions (right knee strain) played. Memphis – None to report.
WHAT'S NEXT: The second game of the Kings' five-game home stand continues on Tuesday when Toronto comes to Sleep Train Arena.