Alvin Gentry benches Sacramento starters in blowout loss to Grizzlies

Jason Anderson, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in Basketball

Interim Kings coach Alvin Gentry didn’t like what he saw when his starters came out looking lethargic in the opening minutes of Sunday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. When they did it again to start the second half, Gentry decided he had seen enough.

Gentry benched his starters less than three minutes into the second half. He was looking for a spark from his bench, but his backups didn’t fare much better in a 128-101 loss to the Grizzlies at FedExForum.

Dillon Brooks scored 21 points to lead the Grizzlies (10-10), who won despite the absence of point guard Ja Morant. Desmond Bane added 18 points. Jaren Jackson Jr. had 17 points and nine rebounds.

Buddy Hield had a team-high 14 points for the Kings (8-13), but he made just 5 of 17 from the field and 1 of 9 from 3-point range. Terence Davis had 13 points. De’Aaron Fox had 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting for the Kings, who were coming off back-to-back wins over the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Grizzlies led by 24 at the half and extended their lead to 28 early in the third quarter, prompting Gentry to call a timeout. Gentry made mass substitutions, replacing Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Davis, Chimezie Metu and Alex Len with Hield, Davion Mitchell, Louis King, Marvin Bagley III and Damian Jones.


“We started the third quarter and I didn’t think we had the kind of activity I thought we should have,” Gentry said. “And then after a couple easy baskets here or there, I decided it was time to try somebody else.”

The Grizzlies shot 48.1% from the field while holding the Kings to 34.0%. Memphis also amassed a 68-49 rebounding advantage.

“When you look at the stat sheet, all the things say that we had no chance to win the game,” Gentry said.

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