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Tyrese Haliburton had 18 points and seven assists for Sacramento, ending his run of four consecutive games with at least 20 points and 10 assists. De’Aaron Fox scored 12 points in his return for the Kings after missing nearly two weeks while in the NBA’s health and safety protocol.
The Grizzlies beat the Kings 124-105 on Dec. 17 at Golden 1 Center, and won handily again to extend their winning streak against Sacramento to six.
After Fox stood and glared following his one-handed dunk early in the third, the Grizzlies took control with a 24-5 run in just under four minutes. Morant had eight points during the outburst and ended it sprinting through the lane for an emphatic dunk, similar to Fox.
Sacramento got within 91-79 early in the fourth, but Memphis went on another big run and pulled away. Anderson converted a three-point play, Bane made a deep jumper and Morant added another dunk to make it 116-89.
Interim coach Al Gentry returned to the Kings bench after being in the NBA’s health and safety protocol for nearly two weeks. De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III and Terence Davis were also cleared to return.
“There’s no minute restrictions or anything like that,” Gentry said. “But when you’re off for 10 days obviously conditioning becomes a factor.”
Even with the added bodies, the Kings had a hard time keeping up.
Fox made a pair of free throws and a layup to put Sacramento ahead by one at halftime, but the Kings were outscored 40-27 in the third quarter.
Kings: Fox was whistled for a technical foul after missing a shot midway through the second quarter. Chimezie Metu picked up one in the third. Both calls were made by referee Cheryl Flores. … Davion Mitchell, Alex Len and Neemias Queta remain in the health and safety protocol.
Grizzlies: Travel to Phoenix to play the Suns on Monday. The Suns won by 25 points when the teams played in Memphis in November.
Kings: Face the Thunder at Golden 1 Center on Tuesday. Sacramento swept all three games last season, but lost in Oklahoma City earlier this season in November.
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Michael Wagaman, The Associated Press