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Grizzlies 108, Kings 101

The SportsXchange

MEMPHIS -- In their final game before the All-Star game break, the Memphis Grizzlies didn't totally take the night off.

Mike Conley made sure of that.

When the fading Grizzlies needed a spark Tuesday night in FedexForum, it was Conley scoring seven points in the final 4:08 to steer his team to a 108-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

After the Kings cut the lead to 99-93, Conley hit two free throws, dealt an assist and flipped in a lane floater to finish a 22-point, 7-assist performance.

Marc Gasol added 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies. Tony Allen contributed a season-high 19 points to go with his 8 rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings (19-34) with 23 points and seven rebounds. Tyreke Evans had 20 points.

The victory sent the Grizzlies (33-18) into their five-day vacation on a three-game win streak. Memphis is 4-3 since it traded Rudy Gay on Jan. 30.

The Grizzlies slogged through the first seven minutes, playing lethargic before a quiet FedExForum crowd waiting to cheer for something. Sacramento stayed ahead for most of the period, thanks to Kings' guard and former University of Memphis star Evans, who hit his first four shots, including three strong drives to the hoop.

The Grizzlies got cranked up with a 26-25 lead at the end of the quarter when Allen scored six straight points. He hit just his third 3-pointer of the season, and then followed with an old-fashioned three-point play.

Sacramento led by as many as six points early in the second quarter, its bench completely outplaying the Grizzlies reserves.

The Grizzlies had nobody on their second team backcourt that could match guard Marcus Thornton, who scored 11 points. Paired with starting guard Evans, the Kings outscored Memphis 21-15 from the shooting guard spot in the first half.

Gasol had a tremendous opening half -- 14 points including a three-point play that helped the Grizzlies get some breathing room -- until he had a foul and technical foul in the final minute of the half.

Memphis stretched its lead to nine points before the Kings pulled to 68-67, attacking the basket and running as much as possible.

Again when it seemed the Grizzlies were on the ropes, Allen's hustle and unexpected offense turned Memphis back in the right direction. His two acrobatic drives in the last two minutes, including a crossover reverse, nudged Memphis to an 11-point lead at the end of the third.

NOTES: As Grizzlies' newcomers Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye and Ed Davis have learned the offense after being traded from Detroit (Prince, Daye) and Davis (Minnesota), the Grizzlies' ball movement has looked like it did two years ago when Rudy Gay was out with shoulder surgery. The ball is whipping around the perimeter and quickly being dumped inside to Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, something that didn't happen in recent weeks before Gay's trade. "The ball is moving more often," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said in his pregame media meeting. "If someone doesn't have a shot, he's throwing it to somebody else, which is the way basketball is meant to be played. You shoot the ball, you pass the ball, you dribble the ball." ... Since Gay's departure and the arrival of Prince, Daye and Davis, the Grizzlies have assisted on more than 65 percent of their made field goals (121 assists for 186 field goals made). ... On Tuesday, Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins met new owner Robert Pera for the first time since Pera bought the team in November. "We had a breakfast meeting," Hollins said. "It was nothing but a get-to-know you. It was my first opportunity to meet Robert. We just talked basketball basically, no business at all." ... The Kings are playing four games in five nights, visiting Dallas on Wednesday night. ... Sacramento entered the Memphis game on a roll from the 3-point line, hitting 48.7 percent (19-of-39) of its 3-pointers in its last two games.
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