SACRAMENTO -- Grit and grind. The Sacramento Kings’ high-powered offense was slowed to a crawl by the Memphis Grizzlies Friday evening at Golden 1 Center.
Sacramento looked like a team stuck in mud for three quarters, and then they woke up. Led by the hot shooting of Buddy Hield, the Kings overcame a huge deficit to come away with a stunning 102-99 victory.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings shocked the Grizzlies late to improve to 17-15 on the season.
Not 25, Not 26, 28
Like the rest of his team, Hield struggled to find the bottom of the net early in the game. But when he found his stroke, it was game on.
The third-year guard went on a personal 8-0 run to cut the Memphis lead to four midway through the fourth quarter. He continued his assault late and hit two free throws in the final seconds to clinch the win.
Hield finished the game with 28 points, including 16 in the final quarter, pushing his season scoring average over 20 points game. He hit 9-of-24 from the field and 6-for-13 from long range. He also added seven rebounds.
Don’t give up, don’t give in
Sacramento heard the boo birds from the Golden 1 faithful Friday night, but they didn’t give up.
After trailing by as many as 19, the Kings’ second unit made a fourth quarter run to get the team within four. The Grizzlies fought back to push the advantage back to double-figures, but then Hield took over.
The Kings played defense, found the open man and when it mattered, they hit their free throws for a wild win.
The Kings spent most of the evening going under screens and Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley made them pay for it.
Conley came into the night a 34.8 percent shooter from behind the arc. Sacramento’s defenders dared him to shoot the long ball and he not only attempted 11 of them, but he knocked down seven.
The savvy veteran finished the game with 23 points, seven rebounds and five assists.