Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/8/13
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SACRAMENTO -- There was nothing special about the pregame warm-ups for Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard Wayne Ellington. It wasn't until Monday's game began that Ellington's night became notable. He scored a career-high 26 points in 26 minutes during the Grizzlies' 113-81 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Ellington, in his first season with Memphis after three years with the Minnesota Timberwolves, made 10 of 11 field-goal attempts, including six of seven from 3-point range. With Ellington leading the way, the Grizzlies dominated the second half on the way to the victory before an announced crowd of 11,531 at Sleep Train Arena. The Grizzlies won a second consecutive game for the first time in two weeks, improving their record to 22-10. They could do little wrong while outscoring the Kings 62-36 after halftime. The Kings (13-22) had their home winning streak halted at four games. Sacramento never could find the physicality and strength needed to deal with Memphis' power. The 32-point margin of defeat was Sacramento's largest of the season. "I don't know if Memphis is the best defensive team," Kings small forward John Salmons said, "but they definitely are one of the best. "They are long, athletic and physical. And they play as a unit." The Grizzlies led 77-60 before Ellington scored the Grizzlies' final 10 points of the third quarter -- all in a span of 96 seconds. He hit two 3-pointers and two other baskets. The 10-5, quarter-ending run pushed Memphis' led to 22 points. Ellington, who came to the Grizzlies in a trade for Dante Cunningham last summer, said he was glad to leave Minnesota. "This is a better place for me," Ellington said. "That wasn't a good spot for me because we had a lot of people playing the same position. I've got a lot more opportunity here." Memphis forward Zach Randolph came out of the shower talking about Ellington. "The boy ain't no shooter," said Randolph, who scored 17 points. "He's a shot-er. S-h-o-t-e-r. He shot that thing. That's how he shoots in practice. That's what we got him for. That was a crazy shooting exhibition." Memphis outrebounded the Kings 44-37, and the Grizzlies' league-leading defense held the Kings 15 points below their season average. Memphis held a 26-16 advantage in fourth-quarter scoring, meaning the Kings managed just 36 points after halftime. The Grizzlies had six players score in double figures, including Mike Conley, who finished with 15 points and eight assists, and Marc Gasol, who had 13 points. Salmons led the Kings with 17 points. Sacramento power forward Jason Thompson scored 12 points, while center DeMarcus Cousins had 10 points and eight rebounds. Cousins averaged 20.8 points and 13.5 rebounds in his previous six games, but he had problems with Memphis. "We just tried to keep our big bodies on him," Randolph said. "I told him he just has to be patient and keep working. I've been in the same place he's been in." NOTES: The Kings began a five-game homestand. ... Memphis guard Tony Allen has won consecutive All-NBA defensive selections, but Conley led the team in steals last season, as he does this season. Allen had three steals Monday, while Conley had one. ... Memphis' 21-10 record entering the game was tied for the best start in franchise history. ... Memphis forced 14 Sacramento turnovers, the 136th consecutive time the Grizzlies' opponent has finished in double figures. That's the longest active streak in the league. New York is second with a 46-game streak. ... The Kings got back the services of swingman Tyrone Evans (sore left knee), who scored five points in 12 minutes. Coach Keith Smart said he hoped to work him in slowly. "Tyreke had he not had a setback," Smart said. "There is no telling where he'd be because he was playing good basketball."
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