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  • Danny Johnston / Associated Press

    Danny Johnston Associated Press Memphis' Marc Gasol tries to drive around the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins in the second half. Gasol finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

  • Danny Johnston / Associated Press

    Memphis' Tony Allen has the ball slapped away by the Kings' John Salmons in the second half. Sacramento held the Grizzlies to 43.6 percent shooting but couldn't overcome its offensive woes.

Kings' offense fizzles in loss to Memphis

Published: Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 - 7:46 am

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Kings forward John Salmons couldn't fault Sacramento's defense Friday night.

The Memphis Grizzlies shot 43.6 percent and scored 85 points.

But when you play offense as badly as the Kings did at FedExForum, there wasn't much bragging about the defense.

Sacramento established season lows in scoring, shooting percentage and assists in an 85-69 loss to the Grizzlies.

"On offense, we were stagnant and weren't hitting shots early in the game," Salmons said. "We were turning the ball over. We could never get in sync offensively."

The loss dropped the Kings to 3-15 on the road overall and 1-10 in away games against Western Conference teams.

They have lost their last six games in Memphis, last winning on Feb. 20, 2009.

Sacramento on Friday shot 34.1 percent, worse than the 36.0 percent they shot in a Nov. 2 loss at Minnesota. That game was also the previous low in scoring (80).

The Kings managed only nine assists against Memphis. Their previous low was 13 twice, the last time coming Nov. 18 against Brooklyn.

Sacramento had only 30 points at halftime, also a season worst and the fewest the Grizzlies have allowed in a half this season.

The Kings had 34 points at halftime in a blowout loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 1.

The Kings made just 12 of 42 shots in the first half Friday, matching their season low for field goals in a half. Sacramento had only 12 baskets in the second half of a blowout loss to Memphis in Sacramento on Jan. 7.

The Kings' 28.6 percent field-goal percentage in the first half Friday was also their worst for a half this season.

Sacramento shot 29.3 percent in the second half against the Grizzlies on Jan. 7.

"We could not finish plays," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "We had layup opportunities (and) close paint shots, and could just never get ourselves into anything that was going to be easy enough for us to break any runs."

The Kings also had 17 turnovers that led to 15 points for Memphis.

Sacramento figured to be catching the Grizzlies (25-13) at an ideal time.

Memphis had lost three games in a row and standout power forward Zach Randolph sat out the game with a lower-back strain.

But outside of DeMarcus Cousins (22 points, 12 rebounds), the Kings got little production from their interior players and could not exploit the loss of Randolph.

Cousins said there wasn't any one thing the Grizzlies did to take the Kings (15-25) out of their game.

"They play hard, stick to their game plan the whole game, and they've got one goal in mind (winning)," Cousins said.

All five Memphis starters scored in double figures, led by point guard Mike Conley with 19 points. Center Marc Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Marreese Speights started for Randolph and had 10 points and nine rebounds.

"There's no difference (without Randolph)," Cousins said. "They're still a good team, and it showed."

Cousins was the only King who scored in double figures. Isaiah Thomas had five of the Kings' assists.

Overall, Cousins said, "there's a lot of things we could do better. We just have to do them."

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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