December 16, 2016, 8:10 pm
Despite playing without Rudy Gay for the second straight game, the Sacramento Kings beat the Memphis Grizzlies 96-92. This was Dave Joerger’s first opportunity to coach against his former team, and the new head coach will likely be fairly pleased with the result.
The game was dominated by defense, with neither team shooting over 4o% from the floor, but an early lead for Sacramento proved to be too much to overcome for the Grizzlies. Memphis was able to make a strong run in the fourth quarter, but a missed three pointer from Mike Conley with just a few seconds left sealed the deal for Sacramento.
Here are some notes from the matchup:
- Garrett Temple had an incredible night on both ends of the floor, scoring 17 points on just 11 shots while also showing his ability to contribute however the team needs. His efficiency and versatility have proven to be very valuable to the team this season, and he was the best players on the floor tonight. Sacramento should look for opportunities to keep his minutes up once the team is fully healthy again.
- Ben McLemore and DeMarcus Cousins both returned tonight, and both were able to make an impact. McLemore scored eight points and also had two steals in just over 16 minutes, and Cousins scored 22 points with nine rebounds. The team’s last game against Houston was a good reminder of how much Cousins means to this group, and tonight was just another example of what a difference he can make.
- Kosta Koufos had his best game of the season so far, scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 boards in under 30 minutes. Koufos really helped control the paint against a very physical Memphis team, and this appears to be the type of opponent that Koufos can play well against.
The win gives the team a 10-16 record for the season, and a few more wins can put them right back into contention. The Kings are starting to get their rotation sorted out, and it appears that Dave Joerger has a clear plan for how he wants to attack different types of rosters. Sacramento will look to build on this win in their game Sunday afternoon against the Dallas Mavericks.