Marc Gasol scored 27 points and Memphis won in Sacramento for the first time in 11 years, defeating the Kings 113-95 on Friday night. Rudy Gay had 23 points and nine rebounds and Mike Conley had 20 points and six rebounds for the Grizzlies, who snapped a 20-game losing streak at Arco Arena.
"I've heard it [the losing streak] said a couple of times, but that wasn't our motivation," said Conley, who added five assists and two steals. "This was a game everyone looked forward to playing. They beat us the last time [in Memphis] with only eight players. That was a slap in the face to us."
The franchise's only victory at Arco Arena came in the final game of the 1997-98 season, when the Grizzlies were in Vancouver.
The Kings came out with their characteristic poor first half that has plagued them all season. Turnovers early and poor defense had the Kings facing double digit deficits most of the game.
The Grizzlies, 2-25 in Sacramento, entered having lost three straight and 11 of 12. But they took control early against the Kings, leading by double digits midway through the first quarter and taking a 22-point lead into halftime.
"They just kept taking it to the hole in the first half," Francisco Garcia said. "We played better defense in the second half, but we have to play it in the beginning. We were ready, but we kept slacking in the first half."
Kevin Martin scored 31 points for the Kings, who have dropped seven of eight. Jason Thompson had 17 points and eight rebounds, while Andres Nocioni added 14 points.
The losing continues for the Kings, who appear headed for their worst season in franchise history, which dates to 1948-49 when they were the Rochester Royals. The Kings have the NBA's worst record at 15-56 and are 10-25 at home.
"They are rebuilding the team, the Kings have had a lot of trades, a new coach," Conley said. "It's been a weird season with a lot of hardships."
Coming out inspired after a lethargic first half, the Kings ran off 12 straight points to cut Memphis' 25-point lead to 13 in just over a two-minute span. Martin continually found open shots while scoring 12 points in the quarter, yet the Kings still trailed 82-67 heading into the fourth.
"We told them that they would make a run in the second half," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "They did, but we got our composure back and kept playing. It was nice to get a 15-20 point lead and be able to relax a little instead of being behind and trying to catch up."
The Grizzlies followed a strong first quarter with an even better second period, hiking their lead to 59-37 by halftime. Conley scored 14 points and Gay had 12 for the Grizzlies, who outscored the Kings 27-15 in the second.
Sacramento opened the second quarter missing nine of 10 shots and quickly fell behind by 17 points. Martin scored 15 points in the opening half.
"We had trouble scoring in the second quarter, we only scored 15 points," Kings coach Kenny Natt said. "But they were hitting pretty much everything."
Spencer Hawes had three fouls and zero points in nine first-half minutes for the Kings. He finished with nine points. ... Darko Milicic missed consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter, the second one an airball that barely grazed the net. ... Bobby Jackson, who missed the previous four games with a fractured cheekbone and has refused surgery, played against Memphis with a protective mask.