Grizzlies lose home game in Conley’s return
MEMPHIS, Tenn-DeMarcus Cousins scored 22 points, Kosta Koufos had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings weathered a late Memphis rally for a 96-92 victory over the Grizzlies on Friday night.
Garrett Temple added 17 points and Darren Collison had 11 for Sacramento in coach Dave Joerger’s return to Memphis, where he coached the Grizzlies until they fired him last spring.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 20 points. Tony Allen scored 16 and Troy Daniels had 13.
The Kings led by 11 with 4 minutes left, but Allen scored two baskets and Daniels converted two 3-pointers, the last one with 55 seconds left to trim Sacramento’s lead to 95-92.
The Grizzlies had a chance to tie, but Mike Conley _ just back after missing nine games with a lower back injury _ missed a leaning 3 with 3.9 seconds left.
Joerger, who started as an assistant with the Grizzlies, was the head coach for three seasons. It was his first return to Memphis since he was fired after last season.
The Kings benefited from a poor shooting night from the Grizzlies, plus 13 Memphis turnovers leading to 17 Sacramento points. Every time Memphis got the deficit under double digits in the fourth, the Kings seemed to have an answer until the final Grizzlies push.
Cousins had seven in the fourth before fouling out with 1:27 remaining
Memphis came out flat and shot poorly to open the game, leading to the Kings building a 12-point advantage. Memphis coach David Fizdale tried calling timeouts, shuffled lineups and any other tactic to try to coax better play out of his team. Nothing worked.
The Kings were 5 of 15 from outside the arc in the first half, which wasn’t good, but it was sure better than Memphis missing 10 of its 11 3-pointers.
Temple’s 12 points helped Sacramento carry a 52-42 lead into halftime.
The Sacramento lead would eventually extend to15 near the middle stages of the third as Memphis continued to commit turnovers and shoot poorly.