Hot-shooting Grizzlies drop Kings to snap four-game losing streak

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A three-day layoff was just what the Memphis Grizzlies needed to rejuvenate their struggling offense.

Rudy Gay scored 22 points and Memphis shot a season-high 54 percent to help the Grizzlies snap a four-game losing streak with a 109-94 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

"We had a lot of time to practice, whereas other games we've been on the road or playing back-to-back-to-back," Gay said. "We had a couple of practices under our belt. We worked on our shooting, and it really helped us."

Hakim Warrick added 21 points and 10 rebounds and Marc Gasol scored 16.

Memphis, which had not shot better than 50 percent in a game this season, was above 60 percent for the better part of the game, and built its double-digit lead in the second quarter. The Kings never threatened after halftime, dropping their fourth game out of the last five. Memphis also dominated the boards, outrebounding Sacramento 46-33.

"Some nights you're not going to shoot well," said Kings guard Bobby Jackson, who had 13 points. "But when you get beat by 13 on the boards and give up so many open 3s, you're not giving yourself a chance to win."

John Salmons led the Kings with 18 points, while Spencer Hawes scored 14, hitting all seven of his shots. Rookie forward Jason Thompson scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He also had three blocks.

The Kings were short-handed, playing without leading scorer Kevin Martin and forward-center Mikki Moore. Martin, who averages 22.4 points, is still recovering from a sprained left ankle, while Moore has a sprained right ankle. Neither traveled to Memphis with the Kings.

Memphis led 64-47 at the half, its 62 percent shooting the clear difference. The Kings were hitting 47 percent and committed only four turnovers, but trailed by as many as 19 before intermission.

"Some of the stuff [the Grizzlies] were doing, it happened so fast that we weren't reading our coverages, and guys were missing assignments," Thompson said.

Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said before the game, the time off since Friday's 101-96 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks was spent working on spacing and fine-tuning some of the problems that have plagued Memphis on offense recently.

Whether it was the practice, the days off or lackadaisical defense by the Kings, Memphis looked sharper, especially in the middle part of the game when the Grizzlies pulled away. The Grizzlies had a season-high 26 assists on 39 baskets.

"It was definitely something we took advantage of," reserve point guard Kyle Lowry said of the short layoff. "That's a rare time in the season, so you have to. I think everybody shot with confidence. Our shots were open, and we just played. That's definitely a contagious thing."

The Kings had played better in recent weeks games, losing 2-point games to Phoenix and San Antonio. The blowout marked the first double-digit loss by the Kings since Nov. 3, when they lost by 34 at Philadelphia.

"Defensively, we've been playing well these last seven or eight games," Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said. "We've only let one team break 100. "Tonight, we just caved in for a couple of reasons: Being on the road, and our shots were not falling. We let that affect us on both ends of the floor."

Game notes
Before holding the Kings to 94 points Tuesday night, Memphis had allowed 100 points in its last six games, losing five of those. ... Gay or Mayo have led the Grizzlies in scoring all but one game this season. ... Gay has scored at least 20 points in five of the last six games. ...In the last 10 Memphis games, the team that won the third quarter has won the game. Memphis outscored the Kings 26-24 in the third. ... The Kings are 0-7 on the season when they are outshot by an opponent, and also 0-7 when they are held under 100 points. ...The Grizzlies' 23-point lead in the third quarter was their largest lead of the season.