Score Strip

Grizzlies 91, Kings 90

The SportsXchange

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies were down seven points with 4:01 to play but closed the fourth quarter with a 10-2 run to defeat the Sacramento Kings 91-90 on Friday night at the FedExForum.

The Grizzlies (20-19) moved above .500 for the first time since they were 9-8 on Dec. 3 and extended their winning streak to five games.

The Kings made just one field goal in the last 5:19 of the game, a putback dunk by small forward Rudy Gay with 39 seconds left to get Sacramento back within a point at 91-90. After Memphis center Marc Gasol missed a jumper, the ball went out of bounds off the Grizzlies.

The Kings had a final possession with 15.1 seconds remaining, but Grizzlies guard Tayshaun Prince tied up Gay with 1.9 seconds left. Memphis won the jump ball and the game was over.

Memphis point guard Mike Conley led all scorers with 25 points and had six assists. Shooting guard Courtney Lee finished with 17 points, Gasol had 16 and power forward Zach Randolph scored 12.

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins finished with 22 points and 17 rebounds. Gay had 19 points and point guard Isaiah Thomas contributed 14 points and nine assists.

The Grizzlies had 13 blocks, including four each from Gasol and Randolph.

Sacramento shot 40.7 percent from the field (33 of 81) and the Grizzlies 46.2 percent (36 of 78).

Memphis led 42-40 at the half despite the fact that Cousins already was close to a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Cousins did struggle with his shooting in the first half, putting up nine shots and making only three. He was 4 of 5 from the free-throw line.

Conley paced the Grizzlies with 11 points in the first half and his rookie backup, Nick Calathes, contributed seven points with two rebounds and two steals.

There were five lead changes in the first half and the biggest margin came with 7:45 left in the second quarter when the Kings were up 32-25.

The Grizzlies shot 41.9 percent from the floor (18 of 43) and the Kings 41 percent (16 of 39) in the first half. Sacramento had a 23-20 rebounding edge.

NOTES: Averaging 23.4 points per game (seventh in the NBA) and 11.6 rebounds (fifth), Kings C DeMarcus Cousins is playing at an All-Star level. Asked whether Cousins also is doing a better job of not letting people get under his skin, Sacramento coach Michael Malone said with a laugh, "I think everybody gets under DeMarcus' skin. But he's also trying to mature and handle his emotions better." ... Through 15 games, Grizzlies F James Johnson was averaging 1.40 steals and a team-high 1.73 blocks in just 23.3 minutes. If all three averages were to hold through the end of the season, he would become the first player in NBA history with those steals and block averages in under 25 minutes per game. "I give him a lot of credit," Malone said. "He was down in the D-League and could have felt sorry for himself."
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