SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Since the start of winter, the Memphis Grizzlies just won’t cool down.
Guard Mike Conley scored 27 points and added 10 assists, and the Grizzlies used a late run to put away the Sacramento Kings 99-89 Wednesday at Sleep Train Arena.
Memphis (24-20) earned its fourth consecutive victory and ninth in the past 10 games.
The Grizzlies also improved to 14-5 since Dec. 21, the first day of winter, a stretch in which they moved from 13th place to ninth in the Western Conference. They are a half-game back of the eighth-place Dallas Mavericks in the race for the final playoff position.
Guard Isaiah Thomas returned from an illness to score 24 points to lead Sacramento, which lost its fourth game in a row. Forward Rudy Gay, playing for the first time in four games, added 23 for the Kings (15-30).
Gay, returning from a strained left Achilles tendon, drew the Kings within 86-83 with 3:46 left on a jumper that pushed him over the 10,000-point mark for his career. However, he turned over the ball twice on the Kings’ next four possessions, and Memphis converted both into baskets for a 97-87 lead with 1:32 to go.
Forward Zach Randolph added 18 points for Memphis, which has won its past seven against Sacramento and swept the season series for the second straight year.
The Kings were held below 100 points at home for the first time in 14 games.
NOTES: Kings C DeMarcus Cousins sat out his fourth straight game. Cousins hasn’t played since suffering a sprained left ankle against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 22. … The 802 games that Memphis F Tayshaun Prince started since the beginning of the 2003-04 season are the second most in the NBA behind Miami Heat F LeBron James (808). … Kings G Ben McLemore, the NBA’s Western Conference Rookie of the Month in November, was left off the rookie roster for the NBA’s Rising Stars Game at All-Star Weekend. McLemore averaged 7.5 points since Dec. 1, and his minutes have declined since the opening month. … Grizzlies F Zach Randolph ranks eighth among active players in double-doubles with 385.
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