SACRAMENTO -- Which Kings team shows up? After a big win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, followed by a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday evening, Sacramento draws a Memphis Grizzlies team playing on the second night of a back-to-back on Sunday evening.
Seven players scored in double-figures against the Suns, including a team-high 14 from Zach Randolph. But the Kings struggled on the glass and couldn’t get stops in crunch time as they let a winnable game slip away on their home floor.
Memphis got a front row seat to Steph Curry’s return to the court on Saturday. The two-time MVP rained down from the perimeter, hitting 10-of-13 triples in the Warriors 141-128 win over the Grizz. Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans put up big numbers, but it was all Golden State.
Kings by 3
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
George Hill vs. Tyreke Evans -- Hill has been up and down all season long for Sacramento. If the Kings hope to come away with a win, they need their $20 million man to play big against Evans. The two-time former King is having a revival in his first year with the Grizzlies. Evans is posting 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 30.8 minutes a night for Memphis. He may have found a home after bouncing around a bit over the last few years.
WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 12-23, fourth place in Pacific
Grizzlies: 11-25, last place in Southwest
Kings: PG De’Aaron Fox (thigh tear) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) is out until January at the earliest.
Grizzlies: PG Mike Conley (Achilles) out, G Wayne Selden (quad) out, SF Chandler Parsons (rest) sat out Friday’s loss to Golden State and his status is unknown.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
Just another game? -- The Kings are chalked full of former Grizzlies, including Zach Randolph, Vince Carter and Kosta Koufos, as well as head coach Dave Joerger. This is the first time Z-Bo will face his former club since leaving for Sacramento over the summer. Eight seasons is long time to spend with one franchise in the modern NBA. It should be an emotional evening.
To Skal or not to Skal -- After three games on the shelf, second-year big man Skal Labissiere played 15 minutes Friday night against the Suns. He produced 12 points and four rebounds, but his spot in the rotation is anything but guaranteed. Will he see court time or head back to the bench?
Stop the rollercoaster, it’s time to get off -- The Kings looked bad in their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday. They looked like world beaters against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday and then they came back to Earth against the Suns Friday night at Golden 1 Center. Consistently inconsistent is the only description that fits for this club right now.
These two teams split their season series 2-2 last season. The Kings hold a 45-38 advantage over the Grizzlies all-time.
“It’s a game I look forward to, of course. I spent almost a decade there. All my friends on the team - it’s going to be fun.” -Zach Randolph on playing the Memphis Grizzlies for the first time since leaving for Sacramento