SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)—Perhaps the surging Sacramento Kings could use a close game at home for a change.
Coach Rick Adelman doesn’t think so.
The Kings have won their six home games this month by a combined 98 points— and Adelman appreciates convincing wins.
“I don’t care as long as it’s a win,” Adelman said when asked if a nail-biter might be needed soon to keep Sacramento sharp. “With 82 games, you’re going to have enough of those.”
Pau Gasol had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who have lost 18 of the last 19 meetings with the Kings and their last 11 games at Arco Arena. Memphis was held below 90 points for the second straight game.
New California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver were on hand to see the Kings improve to 8-0 at home this season with their 15th straight victory in Arco.
But Sacramento needed a big second half to do it.
Stojakovic had 12 of his points in the Kings’ decisive third quarter, when they outscored the sloppy Grizzlies 31-14 and took advantage of eight Memphis turnovers.
“They turned up the heat and we didn’t respond,” Memphis guard Shane Battier said. “We need to find a way to pick it up in the second half.”
The league’s highest-scoring offense surpassed its season scoring average of 105.3, finally coming to life in the third quarter after a slow start.
“Guys, wake up!” one fan hollered late in the first quarter, and the Kings obliged.
Jason Williams, a 1998 first-round draft pick by Sacramento who played his first three seasons for the Kings, had 15 points and six assists for Memphis.
Sacramento started the third quarter with a 9-2 run, then Stojakovic scored seven as the Kings scored nine straight points to go up 75-63. Stojakovic had a 3-pointer followed by an uncontested dunk the next time down the floor during the spurt.
Sacramento’s Brad Miller entered the game with five straight double-doubles, but finished just shy of a sixth with 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Grizzlies shot 66.7 percent in the first quarter to build a 35-24 lead, getting 16 points in the paint in the opening period.
The Kings were held to only eight assists in the first half, but trailed by only a point, 57-56, at halftime because of poor free-throw shooting by Memphis (9-of-19).
Bibby’s 3 with 4:06 remaining in the half broke a 44-all tie and gave the Kings their first lead since the opening minutes. Sacramento, which won a season-high six straight three times last season, used four reserves for much of the second quarter.
“We got a little down, but everyone stayed focused and just tried to pound the ball inside, and I think that ultimately defense won it for us,” Kingsguard Doug Christie said.
Schwarzenegger sat in a luxury box with Kings co-owner Joe Maloof. The governor received a standing ovation when introduced in the third quarter, then later moved down to a courtside seat. “It was my first time seeing him in person,” Stojakovic said. “I was excited to see him.” … Memphis C Jake Tsakalidis picked up his third foul with 7:33 left in the first quarter and played only eight minutes, getting six points and one rebound. … Christie and his wife will pass out 50 Thanksgiving food baskets Wednesday to families at a local soup kitchen. … Battier needed four points to reach 2,000 for his career, but had just two after scoring in double figures in his last sevengames.