The Memphis Grizzlies head into the All-Star break with a 33-18 record after a win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday – their third straight home victory.
The 108-101 victory at FedExForum leaves the Grizzlies undefeated this season (16-0) when scoring 100 points.
Lately, it's all been about team chemistry.
The chemistry has gotten better," said Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins. "Chemistry is something that you deal with all season long. It's not just something that you build at the beginning of the season. It's something that you constantly have to deal with because it's just the nature of individuals, and human being's egos and everything else gets in the way."
Since acquiring Austin Daye, Ed Davis and Tayshaun Prince, Memphis' assists have improved, with 142 assists over 227 field goals. And opposing teams players say Memphis is still are a hard team to beat with new players.
The Kings (19-33) entered the game hungry for a road win, but they just couldn't quite match Memphis' offensive force.
The Grizzlies went into the halftime break ahead only two points. The third quarter got away from the Kings as Memphis outrebounded them. The Grizzlies were 54 percent from the three-point line while Sacramento was only at 21 percent by the end of the third.
Marc Gasol led all scorers with 24 points and 12 rebounds – all defensive. Mike Conley scored 22 points and had seven assists. Tony Allen, who is usually a defensive machine, has been a needed spark on offense recently, finishing with 19 points.
"The last few games he's been scoring a few points and he's made shots, he's gotten to the basket, he's made good decisions," Hollins said. "Tony has been playing outstanding."
Allen said he hired a shot doctor to help him work on his shot.
"Every day I get a chance, I work on my shot. I stay in the gym and make sure my body is alright."
Kings center Demarcus Cousins finished with 23 points. Former University of Memphis star guard Tyreke Evans racked 20 points, with Jason Thompson adding 15.
"I just think they physically outplayed us," Cousins said. "They really took advantage of that in the second half and we just couldn't bounce back. They're a tough team to beat.
"They share the ball a lot better (since the new acquisitions)," said Cousins. "It's just a balanced floor. They're a tough team to guard because it's a threat at every position on the floor now, even with the second unit."
As for the All-Star break, Hollins said he told the guys to be safe and stay out of trouble.
"Every year there's a five-day break," Hollins said. "It's been going on since they started the All-Star game; there's nothing you can do about it."
The Grizzlies will face the Detroit Pistons on the road on Tuesday (Feb. 19).
The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and Soulsville Foundation announced that Staxtacular 2013, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Stax Music Academy, surpassed all past records in attendance and money raised. About 550 people attended the Jan. 26 event, with about $135,000 raised via sponsorships, ticket sales and auctions.
Tony Allen will be featured in a SportSouth special, "Driven: Tony Allen – A Day in the Life." The special will debut on Saturday, Feb. 16. The 30-minute television special, which highlights Allen's game day routine, will air four times on SportSouth from Feb 16-23.