SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Dave Joerger’s young Kings team had another night of silly mistakes, broken plays and missed assignments.
This time Sacramento played through the trouble and won.
De’Aaron Fox scored 21 points, including a leaning, one-handed dunk as part of a pivotal run late in the fourth quarter, and the Kings beat the Memphis Grizzlies 97-92 on Wednesday.
Sacramento won despite 17 turnovers, two coming in the final minute when the Kings failed to advance the ball past midcourt before the eight-second limit and later couldn’t get the ball inbounds in time.
“We made a lot, a lot of mistakes, but we just kept coming and coming and coming,” Joerger said. “We overcame those mistakes with our effort. They believe that if we play fast we have a chance.”
Buddy Hield had 23 points, Willie Cauley-Stein added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Nemanja Bjelica had 11 points and 11 boards for the Kings.
Fox scored 10 in the third quarter to help Sacramento erase an eight-point deficit, but made only one basket over the final 17 minutes.
It was an impressive one.
After Bjelica stole the ball near midcourt, a sprinting Fox took the pass and dunked left-handed over Memphis center Marc Gasol.
Fox’s jam brought the Golden1 Center crowd to its feet and sparked a 14-4 run that put the Kings up for good.
“I was hoping he’d jump, but that’s Marc’s game — he doesn’t go up to block shots,” Fox said. “I missed a few layups yesterday and today, so it was like, go do something that’s a for-sure bucket.”
Gasol exited with 5:54 remaining due to an undisclosed injury and walked into the locker room with a large bag of ice around his neck. He finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Mike Conley scored 27 points, and Jaren Jackson had 14 points and seven rebounds for Memphis. Wayne Selden added 13 points.
The Grizzlies were coming off consecutive impressive wins over Atlanta and Utah following a season-opening, 28-point loss to Indiana.
Memphis led by 14 in the first half but was held to 19 points in the third quarter and 21 in the fourth.
“We didn’t come out with the same level of grit in the second half that we did to start the game,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “We’re still learning how to be on the same page. It’s the main thing for us.”
Gasol scored five points and Selden and Omri Casspi came off the bench to make 3-pointers as part of a 15-5 run to close out the first quarter.
The Grizzlies led by 14 midway through the second before the Kings made a late run of their own to pull to 52-44 at halftime.
Sacramento led 95-86 late in the fourth before Memphis took advantage of the Kings’ carelessness and made it close.
“Our ability to learn on the fly is impressive for how young we are,” Cauley-Stein said. “So yeah, it is going to be chaotic and we’re going to make really dumb mistakes, but we push the pace so much we’re going to get those possessions back.”
The Kings outrebounded the Grizzlies and had a 15-13 edge on the offensive end.
BIG SHOT BUDDY
Hield shot 10 of 20 and made a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. He also followed Fox’s dunk with one of his own.
“The guy’s spirit is so pure,” Joerger said. “He just keeps competing and all of a sudden, bang, bang, gets two shots to go in and things look a lot different.”
Grizzlies: Chandler Parsons did not play because of right knee soreness.
Kings: Marvin Bagley III had 13 points and six rebounds. The second overall pick in the draft continues to come off the bench for Joerger’s squad. … Iman Shumpert was held out with a sore left hip. Shumpert started the previous two games. … Justin Jackson started at small forward in place of Shumpert. Zach Randolph, who spent eight seasons in Memphis and led the Grizzlies to the Western Conference finals in 2013, also was held out.
Grizzlies: Host the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.
Kings: Host the Washington Wizards on Friday.
By MICHAEL WAGAMAN