Don’t be surprised if the Memphis Grizzlies start calling a ton of plays for Dillon Brooks.
You see, the Grizzlies are 8-0 this season when the third-year pro scores 20 or more points.
Brooks will try to contribute to another winning effort when Memphis visits the struggling Sacramento Kings on Thursday.
Brooks scored an even 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting in Sunday’s 117-104 home win over the Charlotte Hornets. But he insists there is nothing magical going on in terms of his output equating to another notch in the victory column.
“People say it a lot,” Brooks told reporters after the win. “But I’m just out there trying to win regardless of if I shoot it well or if I’m not shooting it well.”
Brooks, who is averaging 14.2 points, scored at least 20 on four occasions in December as the Grizzlies were a solid 8-8 during the month.
Memphis was just 5-13 entering December before a young club became more cohesive and began displaying progress.
“Everybody is just playing together,” forward Jaren Jackson Jr. told reporters. “I don’t think it’s a matter of anything clicking more. Shots are falling a lot, and we’re playing better defensively. That’s a big thing. I think everybody is locked in defensively. … Everybody is being a good teammate.”
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins noted the atmosphere around the team has been good — win or lose.
“They are never satisfied,” Jenkins said. “We can learn from wins. We can learn from losses. That’s what I enjoy about this group. They just want to get better.”
Meanwhile, Sacramento would just like to notch a victory.
The Kings have lost a season-worst eight straight games after suffering a 105-87 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
Sacramento had lost its previous three games by a combined eight points — one was decided in double-overtime — before being outclassed by the Clippers.
The Kings were outrebounded 51-41 and had trouble scoring in the second (17 points) and fourth (14) quarters. The overall point total was the club’s second lowest of the season.
“They pushed us around out there and they had their way,” Sacramento coach Luke Walton said. “We have to come together and we’ve got to be mentally stronger, physically stronger and fight our way out of it. That’s the only way to get out of this type of slump that we’re in, and we’ve done it before.”
Forward Richaun Holmes had a strong outing with 22 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double in the past six games.
Holmes has made 53 of 77 field-goal attempts (68.8 percent) over the past seven games. He is averaging 17.7 points and 10.1 boards during the stretch.
Shooting guard Buddy Hield scored 20 points against the Clippers for his third straight output of 20 or more. The stretch comes after he failed to reach the mark in six consecutive contests, including efforts of eight and seven points.
“Buddy’s effort was really good again as far as the things we talked to him about as far as being locked in on defense, communicating and creating for others,” Walton said.
Walton said he would look at film closely to see what the coaching staff can do to improve chemistry.
“Nobody is coming to save us but our group,” Walton said. “We’re not winning games right now but I feel we’re going to start winning some soon.”
Jackson scored 18 points when the Grizzlies posted a 119-115 home win over the Kings on Dec. 21. Harrison Barnes led the Kings with 25 points.
–Field Level Media