Grizzlies 109, Kings 95
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—The Memphis Grizzlies established the longest winning streak in franchise history by easily knocking off the kings of the Western Conference.
“It feels good to have pressure to win games,” said Memphis center Lorenzen Wright, who had a season-high 14 rebounds. “Usually around this town, we’ve got pressure to get over 10 (wins). Now we’ve got pressure to get to 30, and it feels good.”
Pau Gasol added 20 points as the Grizzlies shot 51 percent, including 9-of-14 from 3-point range.
Memphis made it clear early that it wanted the franchise record. The Grizzlies built a 15-point lead at the half, extended it to 21 after three periods and never let the Kings get closer than 14 in the fourth.
The Western Conference-leading Kings were so far down that none of their five starters saw action in the final period.
“They shot it well, I’ll give them credit,” said Sacramento coach Rick Adelman. “(Williams and Miller) were terrific. They made every open shot they had. They knocked down the threes.”
The Grizzlies benefited from a poor shooting performance by Sacramento, which began the night with the league’s best record. The league’s second-leading shooting team at 47 percent connected on just 35 of 91, or 38.5 percent. Leading scorer Peja Stojakovic, who entered the game averaging 28.3 points in the Kings’ last 12 games, was held to 11 on 5-of-13 shooting.
“Most of the time, we were turning the ball over and not making good decisions,” Stojakovic said.
But it also was a Memphis defense, led by James Posey, that helped control the Kings leading scorer. Stojakovic shot a pair of 3-pointers and missed them both. He entered the game having connected on at least five 3-pointers over the last three games.
“Our plan was to limit his touches, and don’t lose sight of him,” said Posey, who had four steals. “Even when other guys penetrated, your duty was to make sure you didn’t help or leave him alone.”
“Every time Stojakovic got the ball, Posey was sitting right there in his lap,” Wright added. “He never had an opportunity to get off those wide-openthrees he’s used to getting.”
Memphis swingman Shane Battier played only four minutes, leaving the game in the first quarter with bruised rib on his left side. …Grizzlies F/G Bonzi Wells left the game with the flu. …Brad Miller and Posey had to be separated late in the first half. After Posey’s steal, Miller fouled him hard on the drive. Posey, who was involved in an altercation with Stojakovic earlier this season, had to be restrained from going after Miller. Miller got called for a flagrant foul; Posey got a technical. …Divac got a tech for arguing a lack of calls. Brad Miller got one for tossing the ball in disgust. …Williams has four double-doubles in his last six games. …Kings G Mike Bibby scored five points, snapping a string of 14 games in double figures. …Asked about guarding Divac, Wright, who fouled out in the fourth, said: “It’s a lot of tricks and fake flops, and the referees fall for that. I hate actors. Just play the game. I don’t know how to act. … I was yelling to the ref: ‘He’s faking. He’s faking.’ That’s the only reason I got to stay in the game as long as Idid.”