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Kings rally late, extend Grizzlies' struggles at Arco

Jan 11, 2008 - 7:21 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- Arco Arena has been a house of horrors for the Memphis Grizzlies. Thursday night may have been the worst yet.

Francisco Garcia hit a baseline 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds left as the Sacramento Kings sent the Grizzlies to their 18th straight loss at Arco with a 116-113 victory on Thursday.

The loss extended Memphis' woeful record in Sacramento to 1-23 all-time with its lone win coming in 1998.

"It was a play where I curl on top and go to the corner," Garcia said. "John (Salmons) dribbled to the basket and was going to find me in the corner. I was open and knocked it down."

"Sometimes, when you win games like this, it becomes addictive," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "The guys know they stuck together and, in the end, they made plays."

With the Grizzlies clinging to a 108-107 lead, Rudy Gay nailed a long 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Memphis some breathing room at 111-107 with 46 seconds remaining.

After Salmons scored on a drive to cut the deficit to two, Pau Gasol converted 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to make it 112-109 with 22 seconds left.

Sacramento's Quincy Douby scored on an acrobatic layup with 18.7 seconds left to make it a one-point game again. The Kings immediately fouled Grizzlies rookie guard Mike Conley, Jr., who made 1-of-2 en route to a two-point lead at 113-111.

Garcia responded with his baseline 3-pointer to help Sacramento secure the victory.

"We came off the guy in the corner, and they killed us with the three," Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We were solid most of the night, but the gambles did us in."

On the ensuing possession, following a timeout, Gay dribbled the ball out of bounds, and Brad Miller provided the final margin with two free throws for the Kings.

"It was a bad play on my part," Gay said of his turnover with three seconds remaining. "It was a game we thought we had. I thought someone got a hand on it. I am human, but I usually don't do that, especially at that time in the game."

Salmons scored 28 and grabbed 11 rebounds and Miller added 25 and 10 for Sacramento, which has seen each of its last four games decided by less than five points.

Salmons was told to go home by team doctors due to flu-like symptoms about 30 minutes before tip-off. But with the Kings already beset with injuries, the 6-6 swingman opted to play and showed no ill effects early, converting his first five shots.

"The energy level definitely stepped up a notch (in the fourth)," said Salmons, who finished 12-of-21 from the floor. "We were going back and forth and then got a couple stops and made some baskets.

"Down the stretch, we got that last stop to win the game. That's big for us; we haven't been able to get that last stop all year."

Gay fell one point short of his career high with 31 for Memphis, which fell to 4-13 on the road.

Mike Miller finished with 18 points and knocked down 3-of-5 from the arc, including a 24-footer from the left wing that put the Grizzlies on top, 85-78, late in the third.

But Sacramento scored the final three points of the period, leaving Memphis with an 85-81 lead heading to the fourth.

"Somehow, we find a way to lose the game (at Arco)," Gasol said. "I've been in many close games here, games with (the) crazy shots that they make. Like in this game, we're kind of control but we make a few mistakes, they take advantage of them and, all of the sudden, they get away with a win. I don't know what it is."

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