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Strong second half leads Grizzlies over Kings
Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) - Wayne Ellington poured in 19 of his career- high 26 points in the second half as the Memphis Grizzlies rolled to a 113-81 victory over the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena.
Ellington missed on only one of his 11 field goal attempts and went a scorching 6-of-7 from 3-point range, and the Grizzlies outscored Sacramento by a lopsided 62-36 margin after halftime en route to a second straight win on their current road trip.
"I was feeling it early," Ellington said. "My teammates were doing a good job finding me and I was just letting it fly."
Zach Randolph added 17 points and seven rebounds, Mike Conley compiled 15 points and eight assists, and three other Memphis players scored in double figures on the evening.
John Salmons paced the Kings with 17 points, but only four came over the final two quarters. Leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins was held to 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting as Sacramento was dealt a second consecutive defeat following a 4-1 stretch.
The Grizzlies began to assume control of the contest late in the first half, then completely dominated the second as Sacramento shot a woeful 29.3 percent over the remaining 24 minutes.
"The guys tried to muster up something, but it just wasn't there," Kings head coach Keith Smart said. "We didn't shoot the ball well. We missed a lot of good looks and had a lot of fumbled basketballs."
Holding a slim 42-40 edge with 2 1/2 minutes to go in the second quarter, Memphis went on a 9-2 run that began with a Conley 3-pointer before Salmons ended the half with a triple of his own that brought the Kings within 51-45 at the break.
Sacramento trailed just 55-51 less than three minutes into the third quarter before the Grizzlies ripped off 10 straight points to begin to break the game open.
Randolph came through with a layup and a 3-pointer during the burst, which Conley capped with a trey that made the score 65-51 with seven minutes left in the frame.
Memphis maintained a double-digit cushion the rest of the way, with a 10-0 spurt that Marreese Speights ended with a successful short hook shot building the Grizzlies' lead to 75-55 with under four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Grizzlies took an 87-65 advantage into the fourth quarter, with Ellington leading the way by scoring 10 points on a 4-of-5 success rate in the third.
The differential swelled to 30 points after Jerryd Bayless threw down a fast- break dunk off a Sacramento turnover for a 105-75 score with four minutes left, part of a 12-0 tear that put the game completely out of reach.
Salmons recorded 10 first-quarter points to keep Sacramento competitive early on, with the Kings ahead 23-22 at the conclusion of the opening session. The game was tied at 28-28 two minutes into the second quarter before Memphis put up seven unanswered points, but a 7-1 Sacramento run later on cut the Grizzlies' lead to 42-40 nearing intermission.
Kings guard Tyreke Evans played for the first time since Dec. 16, having missed 11 straight games with a sore left knee, and had five points in 12-plus minutes off the bench ... Ellington's previous career best was 25 points, set against Miami on Nov. 11 ... The Grizzlies won for only the fourth time in their last 30 trips to Sacramento, but now have prevailed in eight of the last 10 overall matchups between the teams ... Memphis shot 55 percent (11-of-20) from 3-point distance, while the Kings made only 5-of-21 attempts from beyond the arc.
01/08 03:17:22 ET
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