SACRAMENTO (AP) — Darren Collison scored 23 points and made two crucial free throws in the closing seconds to help the Sacramento Kings hand the slumping Memphis Grizzlies their fourth consecutive loss, 91-90 on Monday night.
The victory was the second straight for the Kings, both over playoff-bound teams. Sacramento rallied from an 18-point deficit in the final five minutes to defeat the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
Mike Conley had 22 points and nine assists for the Grizzlies. Zach Randolph added 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Brandon Wright scored 11. Memphis has lost nine of 13 and sits in seventh place in the Western Conference.
Randolph hit two free throws with 32.9 seconds left, giving the Grizzlies a 90-89 lead. But then Collison made both free throws to put the Kings up by one with 5.7 seconds left. Randolph missed an open 3-pointer with a second left that would have won it for Memphis.
The Grizzlies played without leading rebounder and second-leading scorer Marc Gasol, who missed his second consecutive game with a strained left foot. He’s missed just five games this season after playing only 52 a year ago due to a broken right foot.
Buddy Hield had 14 points for the Kings, and Willie Cauley-Stein contributed 12 points and nine rebounds. Kosta Koufos fouled out late in the game and had 11 points.
The Kings are 5-12 since trading DeMarcus Cousins at the All-Star break.
The Grizzlies went cold in the third quarter, missing 17 of 24 shots and getting outscored 23-19. They trailed 74-68 entering the fourth.
Memphis has a favorable schedule in its final eight games. The Grizzlies have six home games, including the final four to conclude the regular season. Five of the games are against teams with losing records.
Grizzlies: A veteran of 18 seasons, Vince Carter got a rare start. He had seven points in 28 minutes. ... Filling in for Gasol, Randolph made his fifth start of the season.
Kings: The organization issued a statement regarding rumors earlier in the day about hiring Sam Hinkie as general manager. “It’s not true. Somebody is trying to create something. Everything is fine here,” Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said during halftime.” ... Arron Afflalo was not with the team for personal reasons. Tyreke Evans was given a rest and didn’t play.
Grizzlies: Host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, a team fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Kings: Another challenging home game Wednesday against playoff-bound Utah.