NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 17th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (14-23) at Memphis Grizzlies (19-19), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Memphis Grizzlies will try to get over .500 for the first time since early December Friday night when they welcome the Sacramento Kings to FedExForum.
The Grizzlies have won four straight to even their record. The last time they were over .500 came with a 19-point home victory over the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 3. That win made them 9-8.
Wednesday's 82-77 road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks gave Memphis its fourth consecutive win and thrust them in the playoff mix all of a sudden in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.
Mike Conley scored 15 points with seven rebounds and five assists, while James Johnson contributed 15 points off the bench and Ed Davis and Kosta Koufos scored 14 and 10 points, respectively, in a reserve role for Memphis.
"We knew, on the bench, that we just needed to bring energy when we got in and that's what we did," Davis said of providing a spark off the bench.
The Memphis bench was needed on Wednesday as the starters, outside of Conley, struggled. The other four first-stringers combined for 23 points.
Marc Gasol, in only his second game back from a 23-game absence due to a knee injury, was scoreless. Courtney Lee had nine points, Tayshaun Prince finished with eight and Zach Randolph was held to six.
The Kings have played good ball of late as well. They've taken four of the last five with the only setback coming in Indiana on Tuesday, which started a six-game road odyssey.
On Wednesday, Sacramento shook off the sting of the Pacers loss with a 111-108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"We turned the page pretty quickly from last night," said head coach Mike Malone. "We know why Indiana beat us, but we didn't show up and play Sacramento Kings basketball."
Rudy Gay racked up 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting and Isaiah Thomas added 26 points and seven assists in the win. Derrick Williams torched his old team with 16 points in just over 28 minutes.
DeMarcus Cousins posted his 12th straight double-double by amassing 20 points and 11 rebounds. Cousins' streak of double-doubles is one shy of a franchise record set by LaSalle Thompson from Dec. 30, 1985 to Jan. 23, 1986.
The Kings will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans and Houston Rockets on the rest of this sojourn.
The Grizz beat the Kings in Sacramento on Nov. 17 and have taken five meetings in a row. Memphis has won nine of 10 against the Kings and seven straight at home.
01/17 10:27:43 ET