The Grizzlies came out on top on Thursday with a 116-110 win. The loss knocked the Sacramento Kings out of the post-season reckoning for the 15th straight season.
The Memphis Grizzlies, meanwhile, now have the same record as the Golden State Warriors at 37-33. That has now bolstered their chances of claiming the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings.
Fixture: Sacramento Kings vs Memphis Grizzlies | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Friday, May 14th; 9:00 PM ET (Saturday, 6:30 AM IST).
Venue: FedExForum, Memphis, TN.
Sacramento Kings Preview
The shorthanded Sacramento Kings put up a solid fight despite their loss in the last game. They managed to keep up with the Grizzlies' pace throughout but lost their grip in the third quarter and were outscored 23-30.
Justin James scored a team-high 31 points off the bench, while four other players scored 15 or more points for the Sacramento Kings. Luke Walton's men struggled in the paint and were outrebounded 35-48, and outscored by 46-66.
The Sacramento Kings played without four of their top six scorers and still led by six points with three minutes to go. But the Memphis Grizzlies capitalized on the Kings' missed shots down the stretch to seal the win.
Key Player - Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield will need to contribute a bit more to the team, with several scorers ruled out for the side. He has been terrific from beyond the arc, making a career-best 4 three-pointers per game this season, at nearly 40%. If Hield can click in this game, he could be the difference-maker and lead his side to a consolation win, with the 2020-2021 NBA campaign done and dusted for them.
Point Guard - Delon Wright l Shooting Guard - Buddy Hield l Small Forward - Maurice Harkless l Power Forward - Chimezie Metu l Center - Richaun Holmes.
Memphis Grizzlies Preview
The Memphis Grizzlies weren't as dominant as they would have liked, especially with the Sacramento Kings missing so many key players due to injury.
Dillon Brooks and Jonas Valanciunas were the only players who looked in great shooting form on the night. The former had 30 points, while the latter tallied 24 points. The Memphis Grizzlies were poor with their ball-handling as they committed 18 turnovers throughout the game.
Nonetheless, they have a chance to rectify their errors in the next game and will be eager to do better and clinch the eighth seed, which would enable them to have two chances to make a push for the playoffs.
Key Player - Jonas Valanciunas
Jonas Valanciunas has been terrific for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2021 NBA season. He is averaging 16.8 points and 12.4 rebounds per game so far. Valanciunas had a great game on Thursday and will have to replicate that kind of performance to help the Memphis Grizzlies overcome the Sacramento Kings yet again.
Point Guard - Ja Morant l Shooting Guard - Dillon Brooks l Small Forward - Kyle Anderson l Power Forward - Jaren Jackson Jr. l Center - Jonas Valanciunas.
Kings vs Grizzlies Prediction
The Memphis Grizzlies are the favorites to win this tie, owing to their superior squad depth. They have a healthier roster compared to that of the Sacramento Kings, which will allow them to make more rotations. However, the Kings were pretty close to claiming a win in the last game and could be tough to stop if they control the game from the get-go.
Where to watch the Kings vs Grizzlies game?
Local coverage of the game between the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies will be provided by Bally Sports Southeast and NBC Sports California. The game can also be streamed live on NBA League Pass.