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11/18/2013 1:35 AM EST
Randolph, Grizzlies beat Kings 97-86
MEMPHIS 97, SACRAMENTO 86

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- After some early struggles to start
the season, the Memphis Grizzlies appear to have found the
formula that led to a franchise-record 56 victories in 2012-13.

Zach Randolph scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth quarter
and also had 10 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies to a 97-86
victory over the slumping Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Memphis was an efficient team offensively that played strong
defense last season. That same formula has worked well in two
straight victories that have evened the Grizzlies' record at
5-5.

Memphis shot just over 55 percent and had a season-best 30
assists. The Grizzlies blocked four shots, played the Kings
tough inside, and limited Sacramento to 38 percent shooting.

"It's where we are as a team, that's the important thing,"
Memphis coach David Joerger said. "We're trying to lay the
foundation back down to who we are as a team. Zach and Marc
(Gasol) were beasts and Mike Conley was really efficient today.
"

Gasol had 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds against the
Kings, which followed a similar effort Friday night in a victory
over the Lakers.

"I always try to be who I am and I always help out," Gasol said.
"I really don't care about numbers. I really don't. Teams go
through struggles during stretches of the season. Ours have come
to start the season. We just want to keep getting better."

The Grizzlies led by 20 points in the third quarter and survived
a second-half rally by the Kings to win their second straight on
their four-game road trip that includes tough games Monday
against the Clippers and Wednesday at Golden State.

The Kings cut the margin to 82-79 on Travis Outlaw's 3-pointer
with 7:18 left. But Memphis responded with seven unanswered
points for a 10-point lead, then put it away when Randolph's
basket from close range made it 93-82 with 1:29 left.

"Zach is playing well right now," said Conley, who also had 19
points and nine assists. "When he's got it going like that and
is in a zone, we try to get him the ball."

Outlaw helped fuel the Kings' comeback and scored a season-high
18 points. The Kings have lost two straight and seven of eight.
Isaiah Thomas added 15 points and Marcus Thornton had 12.

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, who came into the game averaging
22.8 points, had nine points in 19 minutes. Cousins and the rest
of the Kings starters, with the exception of Luc Mbah a Moute,
sat out the final 19 1/2 minutes.

"That's a talented team that went to the Western Conference
finals last season," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "They
shoot 56 percent and get 48 points in the paint. We can't give
forth the effort we were tonight if we want to compete against a
team like that."

Outlaw, who didn't play in the first half, made his first five
shots before finally misfiring in the fourth quarter. He made
6-of-9 shots overall, including a pair of 3s.

Outlaw came off the bench for 11 points and Thomas added eight
in the third quarter, when the Kings finally demonstrated some
offense and outscored Memphis 31-27 to pull within 74-65 heading
into the fourth.

The Grizzlies came out strong in the third quarter and built the
lead to 61-41. Appearing to be upset with his defense, Malone
pulled his starters with just under eight minutes left. The
Sacramento reserves outscored the Grizzlies 24-13 the remainder
of the quarter.

"The biggest thing I saw was effort," Malone said. "We had guys
playing like they cared."

Gasol had 13 points for the Grizzlies in the opening half, when
they held a 47-34 lead. Cousins had nine points for the Kings,
who shot 32 percent.

It was a sluggish start to the second quarter for both teams,
who combined for nine points in the first six minutes of the
period.

Despite the slow start, Memphis still outscored the Kings 22-16
in the quarter.

"Once again I thought out offense dictated our defense," said
Kings point guard Greivis Vasquez, who had eight points, all in
the first half. "We just have to be more mature and understand
if we don't make shots we have to put out effort defensively."

Notes: Tony Allen was the fourth Memphis starter in double
figures with 12 points. .. Patrick Patterson, who began the
season as the Kings' starting forward, bruised his left knee in
Friday's loss to Detroit and was unavailable against the
Grizzlies. . Reserve guard Jerryd Bayless made all three shots
and had seven first- quarter points in just under three minutes
of playing time. . The Kings had only three points during a near
7-minute stretch in the first half. ... An elbow from Gasol in
the first quarter resulted in a cut above the right eye and 10
stitches for Kings reserve Chuck Hayes. He returned to play in
the third quarter sporting a headband to cover the wound.

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