MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The lack of comments by the Sacramento Kings players on a jump ball with less than 2 seconds left silently said enough about what they thought of the call.
Mike Conley had 25 points and six assists, then grabbed possession of the jump ball to help the Memphis Grizzlies secure a 91-90 victory over the Kings on Friday night.
While the Kings players dodged the question, it was evident Sacramento coach Michael Malone disagreed with the call, crossing the court after the final horn to scream at official Marc Davis.
"I thought it was an awful call," Malone said in his postgame comments. "I didn't see a jump (ball). It looked like to me the official made the call and was running the other way."
The call was important in a tight game that included 17 ties, 11 lead changes and came down to the final possession.
Courtney Lee added 17 points for Memphis, which won its season-best fifth straight. Marc Gasol, in his third game back after missing 23 games with a knee injury, finished with 16 points, and Zach Randolph had 12 points and nine rebounds.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while Rudy Gay scored 19 points, 11 of those in the fourth, as the Kings built their lead. Isaiah Thomas finished with 14 points and nine assists. Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams had 10 points each.
The jump ball between Gay and Tayshaun Prince on the Kings' end of the court with 1.9 seconds left ended up in Conley's hands. Gasol actually smacked the ball away in the post-jump scramble before Conley grabbed it.
"They tipped it to DeMarcus and (Gasol) was able to get his hand on the ball," Conley said. "I knew if I touched it, I'm just trying to get it out of my hands and throw it as far as I can so I wouldn't get fouled."
The Kings players were very careful not to criticize the jump ball call.
"It was a rough game down the stretch," Cousins said, "that's all I can really say."