Evans' buzzer beater stuns Grizzlies
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)
The shot was reviewed by officials and upheld, ending Sacramento's seven-game losing streak and giving the NBA's worst team only their second win in 18 games.
Moments before Evans' game-winner, O.J. Mayo gave the Grizzlies a 98-97 lead with an off-balance 22-footer with 1.5 seconds remaining. That shot looked as if it would hold up until Evans took the inbound pass and raced to midcourt before launching the shot.
Evans, the NBA's rookie of the year last season, raced to the sideline and jumped on the scorer's table following his game-winning shot. He finished with 21 points for the Kings (6-23). Rookie DeMarcus Cousins added a season-high 21 points and 16 rebounds.
Zach Randolph scored a season-high 35 points and had 17 rebounds for Memphis (15-17), which had beat Sacramento earlier this season.
Evans looked as if he would be the hero earlier. He stole a pass at midcourt and scored on a dunk with 16.4 seconds remaining, helping the Kings rally from nine points down in the fourth quarter. That gave Sacramento, which trailed by nine at one point in the fourth quarter, its first lead since early in the second half.
Rudy Gay missed a shot for Memphis but the rebound went out of bounds off a Kings player. The Grizzlies then got the ball to Mayo, who was just inside the 3-point arc. Mayo, who had 10 points, hit the fadeaway shot while losing his balance to put Memphis back on top.
Grizzlies guard Tony Allen strutted back downcourt while shouting loudly at fans seated next to the Kings' bench. Allen stared intently at the fans and kept talking until Evans' game-winner stunned the Grizzlies.
Memphis had won its previous two games while holding opponents under 90 points in each game.
The loss offset a huge night from Randolph, who had dominated the Kings the entire night. His short hook shot with 39.6 seconds left gave Memphis a 95-93 lead. Mike Conley added a free throw but Cousins scored from down low, setting the stage for the wild finish.
Randolph got the Grizzlies going early with 14 points in the first quarter, getting no resistance inside from the Sacramento's center combination of Samuel Dalembert and Cousins.
Randolph also scored the final points of the first half on a short left-handed jumper to give Memphis a 51-50 halftime lead.
The Kings, who trailed by 11 at one point in the first half, stayed close despite shooting 6 of 18 in the second quarter. They did it by getting to the free throw line, going 10 of 12 over the final four minutes, and by keeping the Grizzlies off the boards.
Sacramento changed plans defensively in the third quarter in an attempt to slow Randolph down, playing Dalembert and Cousins together. It didn't make much difference.
Randolph scored six of Memphis' first eight points after intermission and had nine in the third quarter, securing his 19th double-double of the season.
Beno Udrih scored 24 points and kept the Kings from getting blown out early, going 7 of 12 from the floor while finishing 8 for 8 on free throws.
Gay had 16 points and Marc Gasol added 11 for Memphis.
Notes: Jason Thompson was in the Kings' starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 17 after cutting the ring finger on his right hand on the rim in Oklahoma City. Thompson, who missed three games, scored one point in the first half and was shut out after that. ... Sacramento owners Gavin and Joe Maloof sat courtside.