EditorsNote: A couple of first names missing (Gasol, Conley), along with other minor fixes
The Sacramento Kings scored the final seven points of the first half to take the lead and never relinquished it Friday night, outlasting the host Memphis Grizzlies 99-96 to snap a two-game losing streak.
Buddy Hield had 26 points and De’Aaron Fox 22 for the Kings, who won for the second time in five games on their six-stop trip that ends Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The loss was the eighth straight for the Grizzlies, who got 18 points off the bench from ex-Kings forward Omri Casspi.
Neither team led by more than five points in the first half until the Kings, trailing 42-41, got a tip-in from Marvin Bagley III and five straight points, including a three-point play, from Fox in a 7-0 burst to claim a 48-42 halftime advantage.
Keeping the Grizzlies at arm’s length thanks to the 3-point shooting of Hield and Nemanja Bjelica, the Kings went on to lead by as many as 11 points in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth before a late Memphis rally.
Hield shot 6-for-9 from beyond the arc to account for most of his scoring, while Bjelica nailed all four of his 3-point attempts in a 17-point performance.
Sacramento shot 12-for-33 (36.4 percent) on 3-pointers, outscoring the Grizzlies 36-18 from long range.
Bjelica completed a double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds, while Bagley added 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Kings, who won the season series from the Grizzlies 3-1.
Willie Cauley-Stein (11 points) was the fifth Kings player scoring in double figures.
Casspi hit eight of his 11 shots to fall just two points shy of his season high for the Grizzlies, who have opened a five-game homestand with losses to New Orleans, Charlotte and Sacramento.
Marc Gasol notched an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Grizzlies, while Mike Conley finished with 16 points and a game-high nine assists. JaMychal Green added 14 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. 11 for Memphis.
Down 87-77 after a Bagley hoop with 7:43 remaining, Memphis made a late run ignited by dunks from Gasol and Casspi.
The Grizzlies got as close as 89-88 with 3:45 to play before the Kings converted a Memphis turnover into a dunk by Cauley-Stein to stall the rally.
Iman Shumpert, Fox and Hield combined for four free throws in the final 1:02 and Fox capped his 21-point night with a jumper with 11.8 seconds remaining to ice the win.
—Field Level Media