Kings' Home Opener Brings First Victory Of The Season
The Kings hosted the visiting Memphis Grizzlies tonight, as the last NBA team to have their first home game in this young season. Behind Kevin Martin, the Kings notched their first win of the season, 100-95.
Sacramento got off to a sluggish start and held a small lead for most of the first half. Kevin Martin came out of the gate hot and was 7/8 from the field in the first half before finishing the game with 33 points.
For the first time this season Martin asserted himself as the offensive leader of the team. He was able to aggressively get to the rim, resulting in 13 free throw attempts for the game.
Coming out in the third quarter the Kings pushed the tempo as their lead swelled to 16 points.
With five minutes to play Kings Center Spencer Hawes fouled out. The Grizzlies went on a run and cut the lead to four points with two minutes left before the Kings rallied to hold on for the win.
For Sacramento, John Salmons was the defensive player of the game. He was given the assignment of guarding the Grizzlies best player, Rudy Gay.
Gay finished the game with 18 points on just 5/12 from the field. The 18 points is a bit misleading, however, as Salmons hounded him all night, rendering him ineffective and forcing Memphis to look elsewhere for scoring.
Attempting to make up for the poor game by Gay was rookie O.J Mayo, who finished the game with 28 points. Mayo did not play like a rookie on the offensive end, fearlessly launching up ten three point shots and making six. On the defensive end, however, Mayo was burned all night as he attempted to guard Kevin Martin, who was able to get past him at will.
Another bright spot for the Kings was rookie point guard Bobby Brown, who went 4/4 from the field and added 5 assists while helping Sacramento push the tempo of the game.
The game also marked the return to Sacramento for guard Bobby Jackson, who received a standing ovation when he entered the game in the third quarter.
Sacramento moved to 1-4 for the season, while Memphis fell to 2-3. The Kings next host Minnesota at home on Friday night.
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