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If you were at Arco Arena Wednesday night, you might have thought the Kings had just won a NBA Championship. A thrilling midcourt shot at the buzzer by Tyreke Evans sent the place into a massive frenzy, ending the Kings' eight-game skid with a 100-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
After strong showings by DeMarcus Cousins (21 points, 16 rebounds) and Beno Udrih (24 points, 4 rebounds), it looked like yet another disappointing fourth-quarter loss for the Kings. O.J. Mayo gave the Grizzlies a 98-97 lead with a difficult fadeaway jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining to seemingly seal the deal.
Then the impossible happened as Evans took the next inbound pass and raced to midcourt, jumping into the air and launching the ball seconds before time expired. The shot was reviewed by officials and upheld as Arco erupted, giving the Kings the much-needed win.
Top performer for Memphis (15-17) was Zach Randolph with a season-high 35 points and 17 rebounds.
Hopefully the win Wednesday night (the second in 18 games) breathes some life into the Kings, who improve their NBA-worst record to 6-23. They face Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday in Denver.
Here are some shots from the game:
Tyreke Evans #13 attempts to score against three Memphis defenders.
Point guard Beno Udrih #19 drives the lane. Udrih scored a team-high 24 points.
Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal
Memphis guard Tony Allen #9 makes a driving dunk in the fourth quarter as DeMarcus Cousins #15 (right) watches.
Fans at Arco.
Omri Casspi #18
Tyreke Evans #13 makes a jumper as Memphis guard O.J. Mayo #32 attempts to block.
Kings power forward Carl Landry #24 drives to the basket against Grizzlies center Marc Gasol #33.
Pooh Jeter #5 takes it to the basket in the second quarter. Jeter finished with 6 points.
DeMarcus Cousins #15 at the free throw line. Cousins finished with 21 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Memphis' Rudy Gay #22 is cornered by Cousins #15 and Francisco Garcia #32.
Kings Media Relations Manager Devin Blankenship (left) and Evans #13 leave the floor after the Sacramento victory.
Photos by Steven Chea.