Memphis Grizzlies vs. Sacramento Kings Pick & Prediction JANUARY 29th 2024

The Memphis Grizzlies go from one offensive powerhouse to another when they host the Sacramento Kings on Monday on the second night of a back-to-back.

Making an overnight trip to Indiana, the Grizzlies had the high-powered Pacers bottled up for a half on Sunday, holding the hosts to 51 points while taking a two-point lead.

But Indiana exploded for 41 third-quarter points and, while failing to reach its season average, held on for a 116-110 victory that snapped the Grizzlies’ three-game winning streak.

Next up for Memphis is a well-rested Kings club that has its own three-game winning streak, including victories at the first two stops of a seven-game road trip. Sacramento opened the trip with a 134-133 win at Golden State on Thursday before following up with a 120-115 decision over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

De’Aaron Fox led the way against the Mavericks with 34 points after Harrison Barnes had been a surprising scoring leader in two straight games, going for 32 and 39 points before contributing 20 to the Dallas win.

Barnes deflected the credit to team stars Fox and Domantas Sabonis, who have combined for 34 assists during the winning streak, during which Sacramento has averaged 125.3 points per game.

“We’ve always felt that the way we play, our style of offense, the way that Fox and Domas create shots for guys, guys have to step up and be open, be aggressive,” Barnes said. “Whether it’s Kevin (Huerter), Malik (Monk), Keegan (Murray), myself, whoever it may be on a given night, I try to maximize those opportunities. So, when the ball finds you, just shoot it with confidence.”

The Kings did just that in an earlier 123-92 romp at Memphis on Dec. 31. It was Sacramento’s largest margin of victory this season and the Grizzlies’ most lopsided home defeat. Fox and Sabonis combined for 16 assists, helping Monk (27 points), Trey Lyles (12), Barnes (11) and Murray (10) score in double figures.

The Grizzlies had allowed an average of 100.7 points during their three-game winning streak, which included beating Toronto and Miami on the road.

Sacramento’s visit tips off a three-game homestand for the Grizzlies, who have been much better on the road (13-13) than at home (5-15) this season. Only the Washington Wizards (three) and Detroit Pistons (four) have fewer home wins.

Having six more home games than road games the rest of the way, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins realizes the path to a potential playoff berth will go through his home arena, where his club has 21 games remaining.

“We’ve just got to bottle up whatever we’re doing on the road and try to bring it home,” he said. “It’s a complete 180 of what we were able to do last year. I think these guys come in with the right mentality and approach, and hopefully it clicks here sooner rather than later.”

The Grizzlies remain without Ja Morant (shoulder surgery), Marcus Smart (right ring finger) and Desmond Bane (sprained left ankle). Morant is out for the season, while Smart and Bane aren’t expected back until late February at the earliest.

The Kings and Grizzlies are scheduled to conclude their three-game season series on March 18 in Sacramento.

–Field Level Media

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