By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Rudy Gay scored 24 points and NBA sophomore O.J. Mayo added 20 on Monday night as the host Memphis Grizzlies sent Omri Casspi and the Sacramento Kings to its fourth straight loss.
Casspi recorded yet another first in his rookie season in the 116-105 defeat, one he would have been happy to live without.
The 21-year-old Israeli was ejected midway through the fourth quarter for picking two technical fouls.
Casspi, who scored 15 points in the game, hitting six of 11 shots in 27 minutes, had to watch the final 5:37 minutes of the game from the locker room after the officials ruled he used too much force to release himself from a tangle with Memphis guard Jamaal Tinsley.
Israel's first NBA player was angered by the call and was escorted off the court by his teammates.
"That's the first time in my life to get ejected from a game," Casspi said. "I hope it's not going to happen again. I'm just sorry it happened."
Kings coach Paul Westphal spoke to the officials about the decision.
"The official said they got tangled up and he thought Casspi did too much arm swinging," Westphal said.
Casspi received his first technical foul with 4.2 seconds left in the first half after clashing with Memphis forward Rudy Gay, who was also handed a technical.
"That's the call the ref made," Casspi said. "And hopefully me and my agent are going to appeal to the league. I didn't do anything wrong and that's about it."
Ahead of the game, Casspi and Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi, the first NBA player from Iran, shook hands at midcourt and posed for photographers.
Gay scored 24 points and O.J. Mayo added 20 to send the Kings to their fourth straight loss.
Marc Gasol finished with 18 points and four blocks for Memphis, which won for the fourth time in the last five games. Zach Randolph had 16 and Mike Conley added 11 points and seven assists.
Rookie Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 28 points, connecting on 10-of-18 from the field, and Sergio Rodriguez had 16 points and seven assists.
Evans has scored 20-plus points in seven straight games in which he's played. He missed the Kings loss at Houston on Saturday with an injured right middle finger.
Memphis led from start to finish, building the advantage to as many as 21.
Both teams shot well from the field as Memphis connected on 54 percent of its shots while Sacramento made 50 percent.
The Grizzlies led by 10 at the half and extended the advantage to 86-69 in the third period. The Kings were able to chip away and used an 11-4 run to make it 103-94, but Gay answered with a 3-pointer and Mayo added a jumper to put the game away.
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