Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

Less than five minutes into the third quarter, the Kings had tested coach Michael Malone’s patience to the point that he benched most of his starting lineup.

Except for forward Luc Mbah a Moute, the starters were done for the night.

Malone said he wasn’t trying to send a message. He was trying to win a game. But that didn’t happen, with the Kings falling to the Memphis Grizzlies 97-86 today at Sleep Train Arena.

The Kings have lost seven of their last eight games and continue to confound their coach with lackluster effort.

That has left Malone searching nightly for a group that will at least play hard so there’s no guessing whom he might have to turn to for a spark.