MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Not completely satisfied with the victory, Chris Webber said it could have been smoother.
The Kings were up 85-74 early in the fourth quarter before letting the Grizzlies close to 94-93 with less than two minutes to play. Jumpers by Mike Bibby and Webber in the closing seconds assured the victory.
“When you start up against a team like this at home … you should step on them and kick them when they’re down,” Webber said. “They’ve had a coaching change. Players hurt. You try to compound all those things.”
The loss was the Grizzlies’ second straight at home and fourth straight overall, three of them coming since former coach Hubie Brown resigned unexpectedly.
Bibby was 3-of-10, but his last shot was the one that counted.
“He really had a good look and he shot it like he had been hitting it all game,” coach Rick Adelman said. “It was a huge shot because we couldn’t get a rebound there for a while and we couldn’t get anything going.”
The Grizzlies tied the score at 74-all late in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Miller, making him 8-for-8 from the field. He had his first miss early in the fourth quarter and finished 10-of-14.
“We just aren’t closing games right now and it is difficult,” Miller said.
The Kings, who held a 49-46 advantage at halftime, began the second period with a 11-2 run capped by a 3-pointer by Stojakovic. He had seven points in the burst and finished the first half with 21.
The Grizzlies’ James Posey, who had missed 11 games with a sprained left foot, rejoined the lineup midway through the first period and ended with two points in 15 minutes.
Gasol said the Grizzlies can’t let the losses get them down.
“We are trying to get a win for ourselves right now so that we can pick our pride and our heads up,” he said. “I am very optimistic for the future of this franchise.”
But Gasol said the team could use a little pep talk.
“When Hubie was first here, we had games like this and he told us that it is going to be an adjusting period,” Gasol said. “We just have to stay focused and play hard.”
Memphis G Jason Williams was out with a sprained right index finger. … While activating Posey, the Grizzlies put F Brian Cardinal on the injured list. … The Kings came in averaging the fewest turnovers in league, 12.2. They ended the night with 11 to 14 for Memphis. … Webber and Stojakovic have scored in double figures in all 14 games. The Kings, shooting 82 percent from the free-throw line, have hit 80 percent or better in 10 games.