The Sacramento Kings fell asleep in the second quarter and looked every bit the part of a team ready to cash in the season. But they came out strong after the break and made it a game against a very good Memphis Grizzlies team Wednesday night.
In the end, the Kings spent too much energy fighting to get back in the game and didn’t have enough to finish, falling 104-98 to the Grizz.
Mike Conley Jr. led the way for Memphis, scoring 24 points and handing out five assists. The veteran guard was a calming influence for his team as he scored in a variety of ways down the stretch.
Former All-Star Zach Randolph was crafty in the post, scoring 19 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 35 minutes of action.
Both JaMychal Green and Mario Chalmers finished with 15 off Memphis’ bench.
Darren Collison came to play. The veteran guard hit his first four shots, including three from long range. He started the second half for Ben McLemore, and finished the night with 17 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
Needing a big night from their star, DeMarcus Cousins struggled with foul trouble for most of the night. Despite limited minutes, Cousins still managed to pick up 18 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. On the downside, he struggled with turnovers once again, giving it away seven times on the night.
Marco Belinelli has been M.I.A. for the better part of six weeks, but he came out shooting in the second half, finishing with 16 points on 7-for-15 shooting.
Filling in for the injured Rudy Gay, Omri Casspi aggressively attacked the Memphis defense. Despite turning the ball over three times, Casspi managed to finish the night with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Rajon Rondo continued to pad his assists totals, handing out 17 dimes in the game. Rondo now owns the Sacramento-era record with 10 or more assists in 40 games.
STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Where have you been Marco Belinelli? The veteran guard has struggled since early January, but he played a pivotal role in keeping the Kings in this game.
TURNING POINT -- The Kings played extremely well in the second half, but didn’t have enough in the tank to knock off a talented Grizzlies team down the stretch.
INJURY UPDATE -- Rudy Gay (strained right shoulder) and Seth Curry (sprained right foot) both missed the game. Rondo rolled his ankle late in the game, but returned for the final two minutes.
WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings are back at it Thursday night when they travel to Dallas for the second night of a back-to-back.