Loss number five in a row was a mistake-heavy mess as the Memphis Grizzlies surrendered a fourth quarter lead, succumbing to a Sacramento Kings rally in a 102-99 defeat on the road.
“At the end of the game we made too many mistakes defensively,” Memphis center Marc Gasol said. “They took that momentum and finished the game on their terms.”
Buddy Hield, who watched Mike Conley put on an impressive shooting display for three quarters, made four of his six 3-pointers over the final 8 1/2 minutes and scored 16 points in the fourth quarter. He finished as the game’s leader scorer with 28 points.
“We had a lot of grit and a lot of fight,” Hield said. “Guys wanted it. We played together and we just had fun. We made some shots and we got some stops.”
“The entire second half we made mistake after mistake after mistake,” Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.
“We didn’t deserve to win this game. It’s time for all of us to be fed up with what’s going on, hold ourselves accountable.”
The Kings trailed 82-75 with 9 minutes left when Hield started to heat up. He scored 11 consecutive points for Sacramento, including three straight 3s, to cut the gap to 90-86.
Gasol made two free throws to give Memphis a 97-93 lead with 2:20 left, but Sacramento responded with nine straight points. Hield sparked the decisive run with a 3-pointer and made two foul shots to make it 102-97 with 3.9 seconds remaining.
The end of the game was delayed briefly after Hield was called for goaltending on a Shelvin Mack layup. Officials reviewed the play and put .5 seconds back on the clock, but Gasol had already retreated to the locker room and had to be called back out to finish the game.
Conley, who had 23 points and seven rebounds, also tied his career high with seven 3-pointers, two shy of the Grizzlies’ single-game record.
Garrett Temple scored 17 points against his former team while Gasol and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 12 points apiece.
Memphis has been held under 100 points in eight consecutive games and 10 of 11.
“You don’t overreact. The way this league works, you have good runs, you have bad runs. Hopefully we learn from it and the bad run stops now,” said Gasol.
Grizzlies: Memphis made 16 3-pointers, one shy of the franchise record. … Joakim Noah did not play for a second straight game due to right heel soreness.
Kings: The 40 points were Sacramento’s season low for a half. … Nemanja Bjelica picked up a technical foul in the second quarter and a Flagrant 1 foul in the third. … Marvin Bagley III continues to be sidelined by a left knee bone bruise. The second overall pick has not played since getting hurt early against Golden State on Dec. 14. Bagley is scheduled to be re-evaluated next week. … Bogdanovic was back in the lineup after sitting out Wednesday with a sore right foot.
Conley added to his franchise record for career 3-pointers and now has 1,003.
The Kings have won four games this season when trailing entering the fourth quarter.
“That’s a Memphis team that needed to get this one, they knew it, they were locked in,” Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said. “I don’t know but maybe we stole one.”
Grizzlies: Play at the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
Kings: Host New Orleans on Sunday.
(This story includes memgrizz Twitter accounts and a report by the Associated Press. More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.)