Memphis Grizzlies

Jackson, Giles pave the way for Kings' first Summer League win

Jackson, Giles pave the way for Kings' first Summer League win

The Sacramento Kings picked up their first win of the Summer League in Las Vegas Tuesday afternoon, knocking off the Memphis Grizzlies by a final of 94-80. With the victory, the Kings improved to 2-4 overall on the summer.

Wins and losses don’t mean much, but there are plenty of items to glean from the games. Here are five takeaways as the Kings move towards the elimination phase of the tournament.

- Justin Jackson looks great as a primary scorer. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely he’ll have that role when the regular season starts in October. As a focal point, Jackson dropped in 20 points or more for the fourth time in six games. He shot an impressive 8-of-13 from the field and knocked down 2-of-4 from long range on his way to a 20-point, two-rebound performance. 

- Harry Giles is gaining momentum. The Kings haven’t had a player like Giles since Ron Artest. The 20-year-old big plays the game with an intensity and force that Sacramento desperately needs. He still makes plenty of rookie mistakes, but his defensive acumen is off the charts, especially for a player that’s sat for most of the last three seasons. He posted his second double-double of the summer, finishing with 11 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes of action. In three games in Vegas, Giles is averaging 12 points and 7.7 rebounds in 23.3 minutes a contest.

- Frank Mason has struggled to find his footing while running the show, but he looked better against the Grizzlies. The second-year point guard managed to score 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting and chipped in 13 assists. Mason currently ranks third in assist during the Las Vegas Summer League at eight dimes per game. He’s struggled to get his offense going, but he’s setting up his teammates well and he turned the ball over just once in 26 minutes of action.

- The Kings are loaded at the center and power forward positions, but Zach Auguste looks like a player worth giving a longer look. The 25-year-old out of Notre Dame scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds and added a block and a steal in 19 minutes of action. He’s mobile, rebounds and has a nice post game. The Kings only have two roster spots open for the regular season, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to offer Auguste an invite to training camp and possibly a look in Stockton this season. 

- Anthony Brown and Matt Jones both contributed to the Kings’ win. At 6-foot-7, 210 pounds, Brown has good size for the wing spot. He’s bounced in and out of the league over the past three seasons after being taken in the early second round of the 2015 NBA Draft. Jones spent last season with the Bighorns after going undrafted out of Duke in 2017. He can shoot the rock, but the Kings are set at the shooting guard position. 

Kings find themselves as underdogs against last-place Grizzlies in Memphis

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Kings find themselves as underdogs against last-place Grizzlies in Memphis

Down to just three games on the season, the Sacramento Kings travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies. It’s a homecoming for Dave Joerger and his staff, as well as veterans Zach Randolph, Kosta Koufos and Vince Carter, who all spent time with the Grizz. 

Sacramento is coming off a tough 97-94 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday evening. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the way with 22 points, but rookie Justin Jackson also posted a solid game. Jackson finished the night with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added eight rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block in a career-high 42 minutes of action. 

After dropping 19 straight, the Grizzlies have played better of late, going 3-7 over their last 10. They sit most of their team against Sacramento as they look forward to the 2018 NBA Draft Lottery.

BETTING LINE 

Grizzlies by 3

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Buddy Hield vs. MarShon Brooks -- Hield is finishing strong for Sacramento, posting big scoring numbers on a nightly basis. He’s found a home coming off the Kings’ bench and is showing major signs of improvement during the post All-Star break schedule. Brooks has been out of the league for three seasons, but since joining the Grizzlies three games ago, he’s posting 23.3 points a night on 57.1 percent shooting from the field and 64.7 percent from long range. Before signing with Memphis, Brooks averaged 36.6 points per game for Jiangsu Nangang of the Chinese Basketball Association.  

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 25-54, fourth place in Pacific

Grizzlies: 21-57, fifth place in Southwest

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (left ankle sprain) out, SG Garrett Temple (left ankle sprain) out, SG/SF Iman Shumpert (knee rehab and plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) is out for the season.

Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (rest) out, PG Mike Conley (left heel) out, SG Andrew Harrison (wrist and shoulder) out, SF Chandler Parsons (knee) out, PF JaMychal Green (knee soreness) out, SG Wayne Selden (knee soreness), SF Tyreke Evans (personal) out, PF Jarell Martin (ankle) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Ignore the DNP -- Memphis is sitting most of their roster. The Kings will face a group of fringe NBA players, like Brooks, Kobi Simmons, Myke Henry and Ivan Raab. Even former King, Ben McLemore, is hanging onto his career by a thread. Sacramento is sitting plenty of players as well, but not like what we are seeing from the Grizz. At some point the league needs to make changes. Until then, you play the man lined up across from you, many of which are playing for their NBA lives.

Find your shot -- Nigel Hayes is getting an opportunity to play with Sacramento. He’s shooting just 15.4 percent from the floor in his first two games, but his teammates have been seen encouraging him to continue to hoist it up. He has three more games to make an impression. There’s no time to be shy when you’re fighting for your NBA dream.  

Finish strong -- The Kings finish the season with San Antonio and Houston. The Rockets are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and the Spurs are a perennial contender. The Grizzlies might be Sacramento’s last chance to pick up a win in the 2017-18 season. With Memphis laying down, the Kings might as well run over the them. 

SERIES HISTORY 

Memphis owns a 2-0 lead in the season-series and have an opportunity for a sweep. The Kings hold a 45-40 advantage over the Grizzlies all-time.  

Gameday: Memphis homecoming for plenty of Kings

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Gameday: Memphis homecoming for plenty of Kings

Want to get away? After dropping six straight games, the Sacramento Kings hit the road for a season long six-game trip beginning Friday in Memphis. 

It’s a homecoming game for plenty of Kings coaches and players, including Zach Randolph, who is playing in front of a Memphis crowd wearing an opposing jersey for the first time in eight years. Dave Joerger and most of his staff came over from the Grizzlies in the summer of 2016 and Vince Carter and Kosta Koufos spent time in Memphis as well.

Memphis has had a rough season, but two-time former King, Tyreke Evans, has made a tremendous impact in his first season with the team. He’s posting big numbers and looks as healthy as he’s been in years.

BETTING LINE 

Grizzlies by 5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Marc Gasol -- Cauley-Stein is blossoming in his third NBA season. He’s become a reliable scoring and rebounding option for the Kings. He’s improved on the defensive end as well, but guard Gasol is as tough as it gets. The 7-foot-1 Spaniard has an old school game. He can pass, hit you from the outside and work you over in the post. Cauley-Stein will have his hands full with the three-time All-Star big.

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 13-31, fifth place in Pacific

Grizzlies: 15-28, fourth place in Southwest

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (left shoulder strain) questionable, PG Frank Mason III (heel) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) is out for the season.

Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (illness) questionable, PG Mike Conley (Achilles) out, SG Andrew Harrison (shoulder) questionable, SF Chandler Parsons (knee) out, SF James Ennis (calf) out, .

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Homecoming -- This should be an emotional night for plenty around the Kings team, especially Randolph. The Grizzlies retired the 36-year-old’s No. 50 jersey, making him the first in franchise history to receive the honor. 

Show Improvement -- The Kings are in a funk, but we are seeing steady improvement from plenty of the team’s young players. Bogdan Bogdanovic continues to post up big numbers, including a career-best 25 against the Jazz on Wednesday.

Break the Streak -- A six-game trip is daunting, especially after a rough stretch. If Sacramento can get out of Memphis with a win, it would take plenty of stress off a young team. 

SERIES HISTORY 

These two teams split their season series 2-2 last season, but Memphis went up 1-0 for the 2017-18 campaign with a win at Golden 1 on New Year’s Eve. The Kings hold a 45-39 advantage over the Grizzlies all-time.