A recently broken 18-game road losing streak is perhaps the best example of how bad Memphis has been. Eighteen straight losses at Sacramento help demonstrate just how long the Grizzlies franchise has struggled.
Five days after ending one of the longest road skids in franchise history, the Grizzlies look to win at Sacramento for the first time in 10 years when the teams conclude their season series Wednesday night.
It’s been yet another dismal season for Memphis (18-52), which will finish with a winning percentage under .370 for the 10th time in its 13 years of existence. The Grizzlies’ longest losing streak of any kind this season was 18 in a row on the road, which they ended with a 120-106 victory over New York on Friday night.
That was the second-longest road losing streak in Grizzlies franchise history. The team lost 23 straight road contests at the end of the 1998-99 season, which is when an 18-game road slide against the Kings (31-39) began.
The Grizzlies are 1-23 all-time in Sacramento. Memphis hasn’t won a road game versus the Kings since the franchise was still in Vancouver, winning 112-108 in overtime on April 19, 1998.
Memphis, though, is 2-1 against Sacramento this season, giving it a chance to win the series for the first time. The Grizzlies’ latest win over the Kings was on Saturday night, when they earned a 117-111 victory.
“It’s a good thing and a bad thing to see a team right away like that,” Memphis forward Hakim Warrick said. “We have to improve on some of the good things we did and try and minimize the things that went wrong.”
That win over the Kings was the Grizzlies’ second straight overall, giving them consecutive victories for only the second time this season. Memphis, though, missed a chance to win three in a row for the first time since the end of the 2006-07 season, losing 120-106 to Denver on Monday night.
Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 30 points. He is averaging 25.3 points in three games against Sacramento this season.
Gay had 24 points and seven rebounds Saturday, helping Memphis hand the Kings the first of three straight losses.
Sacramento will miss the playoffs for the second straight season after an eight-year playoff run.
“We have to try to keep fighting and try and get more wins than last year,” Kings center Brad Miller said.
Sacramento went 33-49 last season, losing 17 of its last 22 games. Now, the Kings are on a stretch of 11 losses in 16 contests and have given up 100 points or more in 17 of their last 18.
Sacramento allowed Houston to shoot 51.9 percent from the field in a 108-100 loss Monday night.
Point guard Beno Udrih, who missed the previous three games with a back strain, played 10 minutes in the first half before sitting out the rest of the night. Kings coach Reggie Theus said Udrih aggravated the injury and is day-to-day.