December 22, 2019 / 3:50 AM / a month ago

Grizzlies hold off Kings

EditorsNote: Designated home team in lede graf

Dec 21, 2019; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) warms up before the game against the Sacramento Kings at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Balanced scoring and a solid defensive effort on Buddy Hield powered the host Memphis Grizzlies past the Sacramento Kings, 119-115, Saturday at FedExForum.

Jaren Jackson Jr. led seven Grizzlies scoring in double figures with 18 points on a night neither side’s leading scorer coming in could muster much offensively.

While Memphis held Hield to just eight points on 3-of-18 shooting from the floor, Grizzlies rookie sensation Ja Morant finished with 13 points, but was stuck on four until deep in the second half.

A team effort picked up Memphis’ scoring slack, including off the bench. Grayson Allen was one of three Grizzlies reserves to hit double figures with 13 points, joining De’Anthony Melton with 11 points and Tyus Jones with 12.

Brandon Clarke added eight points, and the Memphis bench outscored Sacramento’s, 46-27.

Among the Grizzlies starters, Dillon Brooks scored 16 points while Solomon Hill chipped in nine. Jae Crowder recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The Memphis scoring balance was a byproduct of sound ball movement. Thirty-two of the Grizzlies’ 40 made field goals came off assists.

With Hield held in check, sitting on just three points until midway through the third quarter, Memphis built a double-digit lead in the first half. Sacramento cut the gap to three points, but a 16-6 Memphis run to close the period gave the Grizzlies a cushion down the stretch.

Sacramento pulled within a possession in the final minute, thanks to a pair of De’Aaron Fox buckets, three Harrison Barnes free throws, and a Trevor Ariza 3-pointer. Free throws were critical for Memphis holding Sacramento off down the stretch, with the Grizzlies hitting 11 straight over the final 4:04.

Barnes led the Kings with 25 points. Fox finished with 22 and Nemanja Bjelica scored 15 points.

Richaun Holmes scored 10 of his 18 points in the game’s first seven minutes. He had a double-double with 12 rebounds. Marvin Bagley III scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Ariza chipped in 13 points off the bench.

—Field Level Media

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