SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Kevin Martin recognized O.J. Mayo's fearsome talents when they spent a week practicing together in Las Vegas last summer against the U.S. Olympic team.
Although Mayo is a blossoming star, Martin's skills already are in full bloom.
Martin scored 33 points and John Salmons had 21 points and nine rebounds in the Sacramento Kings' first victory of the season, 100-95 over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night in the NBA's final home opener.
Martin made sure the Kings won their third straight home opener with a versatile effort, even tying coach Reggie Theus' franchise record for points in an opener on his final free throw with 14.3 seconds left. He did just enough to hold off Mayo, who scored 28 points and hit six 3-pointers for the Grizzlies in the best performance of the No. 3 overall draft pick's short NBA career.
Mayo led an 18-3 Memphis rally down the stretch, but Martin made three free throws and a key hustle play on a loose ball in the final 35 seconds to guarantee the Grizzlies' 25th loss in 26 trips to Sacramento.
"He's already one of my favorite players," Martin said of Mayo, his teammate on the U.S. men's select team that scrimmaged with the gold medal-winning national team before Beijing. "You could see that when we spent those days practicing together. He's like an undersized 2 (shooting guard), but he's going to be great in the next couple of years."
Sacramento's win left Washington and the Los Angeles Clippers as the NBA's only winless teams. Spencer Hawes had 13 points before fouling out for the Kings, who opened the season by losing at every stop on a difficult four-game trip.
"I have to believe they were very hungry," Theus said. "I know that from the comments I've heard, and some of the demeanor I saw, there was a lot of soul-searching going on. ... I thought, as I have in the past when we've played poorly, that we've come back and played really hard and showed that there's some pride there."
With Sacramento mayor-elect Kevin Johnson sitting in the Maloof family's courtside seats, Martin went 11-for-18 while toying with Memphis' various defenders, including the high-energy Mayo. Martin scored at least 30 points for the second time in five days, solidifying his pre-eminence for the Kings after Ron Artest's offseason departure.
Although Mayo was an energetic force on offense, Martin showed him a few areas where his defense must improve to reach the standards of the NBA's best.
"It was their first home game, and they definitely brought the energy tonight," Mayo said. "They shot over 50 percent, and it's hard to beat a team when they do that. We need to play like the tough-minded defensive team we want to be."
Memphis pulled to 95-91 in the final minute on two free throws by Mayo, but Martin alertly hit the floor to tip a loose ball to Salmons for a decisive dunk with 29.7 seconds left.
The Grizzlies opened a four-game West Coast trip with their 20th consecutive loss at Arco Arena since the Vancouver Grizzlies' lone victory in Sacramento on April 19, 1998.
"We're not going to come in here and steal one playing like that," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "(The Grizzlies' defense) was softer tonight than it was been. It had been very good. We can't worry about one end and not pick it up on the other end."
Rudy Gay had 18 points for Memphis, and Kyle Lowry added 14 points and seven assists. The Grizzlies' offense relied heavily on spot-up jumpers from Mayo until midway through the fourth quarter, when Mayo, Quinton Ross and Gay hit consecutive 3-pointers to trim Sacramento's 19-point lead to seven.
"We tried to pack the paint and make them shoot jumpers, because they weren't shooting a good percentage," Martin said. "They finally got it going, but we hung on."
Kings guard Bobby Jackson, who returned to the club when Artest was traded to Houston, got a standing ovation when he finally entered the game late in the third quarter. Jackson spent five seasons with Sacramento from 2000-05 as a key reserve during the Kings' glory days.
Johnson, the longtime NBA point guard and Sacramento native, defeated two-term incumbent Heather Fargo on Tuesday night to become Sacramento's first black mayor. He got a rousing ovation from the crowd when Gavin Maloof presented him with a jersey during a first-quarter timeout. ... Sacramento C Brad Miller finished his five-game suspension for violating the NBA's drug program. He'll return for Friday's game against Minnesota. ... Arco Arena had thousands of empty seats despite the opening-night festivities with an announced attendance of 13,685 -- more than 3,500 below capacity. The Kings have eight more home games in November.
|Sacramento (1-4) «||24||24||33||19||100|
|MEM:O. Mayo 28 Pts
MEM:R. Gay 6 Reb
MEM:K. Lowry 7 Ast
|SAC:K. Martin 33 Pts
SAC:M. Moore 11 Reb
SAC:B. Udrih 6 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|O. Mayo, SG||35||10-19||2-3||1||0||5||28|
|R. Gay, SG||33||5-12||7-10||6||1||5||18|
|M. Gasol, C||31||2-3||1-2||6||0||1||5|
|M. Conley, PG||17||1-3||2-3||0||6||2||4|
|D. Arthur, PF||17||1-7||2-2||5||0||2||4|
|K. Lowry, SG||31||4-10||4-4||6||7||1||14|
|Q. Ross, SF||23||1-4||2-4||2||3||1||5|
|H. Warrick, PF||21||4-6||0-2||3||0||0||8|
|D. Milicic, PF||17||2-3||2-2||3||0||3||6|
|G. Buckner, SG||15||1-4||0-0||0||2||1||3|
|A. Walker, SF||Did Not Play|
|M. Jaric, SF||Did Not Play|
|J. Crittenton, PG||Did Not Play|
|H. Haddadi, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|J. Salmons, SF||43||8-13||4-5||9||3||3||21|
|K. Martin, SG||43||11-18||10-13||1||3||2||33|
|S. Hawes, C||35||5-9||1-2||3||2||6||13|
|M. Moore, PF||32||3-6||0-0||11||2||4||6|
|B. Udrih, PG||27||2-9||0-0||1||6||3||4|
|J. Thompson, PF||25||5-11||1-3||6||1||0||11|
|B. Brown, PG||21||4-4||0-0||2||5||2||10|
|Q. Douby, SG||6||0-2||0-0||0||1||1||0|
|B. Jackson, PG||5||0-0||0-0||1||1||0||0|
|S. Williams, PF||4||1-2||0-0||2||0||1||2|
|K. Thomas, PF||Did Not Play|
|F. Garcia, SF||Did Not Play|
|D. Greene, SF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|