The Memphis Grizzlies dealt the Sacramento Kings a 113-96 defeat on Tuesday night, but the Kings could take solace in rookie guard Jimmer Fredette posting his best game of the season.
After consecutive games where he was held to just seven points, Fredette knocked down four of his six three point attempts, and shot six-for-12 overall, to finish with a season-high 17 points. The former Brigham Young star also added three rebounds, one assist, and one steal. He also had only one turnover in 29 minutes.
Kings head coach Paul Westphal gave extended minutes to Fredette and other young players as the Grizzlies led by 19 going into the fourth quarter. Fredette played the entire final quarter, and that's when he heated up.
Paired with fellow rookie guard Isaiah Thomas, Fredette knocked down four shots, including two three pointers that were beyond 24 feet, and two driving layups to cut into the Grizzlies' lead in the closing minutes. Though it was garbage time with the Kings basically too far behind to mount a real comeback, it was an impressive effort from Fredette.
With the diminutive Thomas on the court, Fredette played more of a shooting guard position, which is probably where the 6'2 combo guard feels most comfortable.
The bad news for Fredette was that he missed his first free throw of the season. He shot better than 89 percent in his final two seasons at BYU.
Currently, Fredette is averaging 10.2 points per game, which is fourth on the Kings. The 22-year-old is among the frontrunners for the Rookie of the Year award.
Fredette will receive plenty of competition from Cavaliers' point guard Kyrie Irving, who is averaging 14.6 points per game, as well as Irving's teammate Tristan Thompson (9.8 ppg), and the Bobcats' Kemba Walker (9.6. ppg).
Fredette could also use a boost from his squad. The Kings are off to a poor start, with a a 2-4 record, and were blown out twice before the 17-point loss to Memphis.