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Martin scores 33 as Kings hold off Grizzlies

Nov 6, 2008 - 7:08 AM By Tom Galland PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SACRAMENTO, California (Ticker) -- The Memphis Grizzlies proved to be the perfect remedy for the ailing Sacramento Kings.

Kevin Martin scored 33 points as the Kings notched their first win of the season in their home opener by downing the Grizzlies, 100-95, at Arco Arena on Wednesday.

The Grizzlies have not won in Sacramento since moving to Memphis and have dropped 20 straight at Arco.

Martin had struggled on the road, averaging 15.4 points on 39 percent shooting during the Kings' 0-4 start, but returned to form in front of the hometown crowd that included former NBA star and Sacramento mayor-elect Kevin Johnson.

"Finally got it off our backs," said Martin, who connected on 11-of-18 shots." It was a great team effort tonight. On the defensive end we played well. Mikki (Moore) and Spencer (Hawes) were down there battling, that made it easier for us guards tonight."

After allowing 112.0 points per game on 52 percent shooting during their dismal road trip, the Kings' defense showed some life and held the Grizzlies to 44 percent (31-of-71) from the floor.

"The guys were just focused," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "I even saw a guy get on the ground after a loose ball. I didn't see that I think one time on the whole road trip, so that's a start."

Rookie O.J. Mayo celebrated his 21st birthday with a season-high 28 points for Memphis. Mayo nailed six 3-pointers, including four in the first half to keep the Grizzlies within striking range, trailing 48-41 at the break.

Mayo and teammate Rudy Gay were forced to the bench after picking up their fourth fouls less than five minutes into the third quarter, further opening the door for the Kings.

Sacramento took advantage and extended to a 77-62 lead when Moore fed Hawes for a dunk to finish a 9-0 run with 2:36 left in the quarter.

Martin pushed the Kings ahead by 19 on a jumper midway through the final stanza, but Memphis quickly responded to get back into the game.

"We're a team that's never really out of it," Gay said. "We always want to fight back and we did. It's tough fighting back from behind but that's what we got ourselves into (tonight)."

Quinton Ross and Gay hit consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 12-0 burst that cut the deficit to 92-85 with just under four minutes remaining.

Kings rookie Jason Thompson converted a three-point play to make it 95-85 but again Memphis rallied.

A pair of free throws by Mayo with 59 seconds left made it 95-91.

"(Sacramento) came out more aggressive going to the rim," Mayo said. "I picked up three quick fouls and Rudy picked up a few. Then we went on a run and made some shots."

Following a timeout, Sacramento's John Salmons picked up the ball after a wild scramble and drove in for a layup from the right side to push the lead to six with 30 seconds to go.

"It just came to me," Salmons said. "It wasn't anything special I did. It was a scramble and I just happened to be in the right place.

"It definitely feels great (winning). We definitely needed that."

Salmons, who finished with 21 points, then forced a jump ball with Gay that the Kings corralled, forcing Memphis to foul Martin, who connected on both free throws to seal the game.

Gay finished with 18 points on 5-of-12 shooting after missing his first five attempts.

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    MEMPHIS 95

    Nov 6 12:45 AM
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    Grizzlies 89, Kings 95  4th - 1:00Nov 6 12:34 AM

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    Grizzlies 21, Kings 33  2nd - 8:53Nov 5 10:52 PM

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