Sacramento Kings’ George Hill, left, and Garrett Temple celebrate in the closing moments of the Kings 109-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in The Kings won 109-95. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
By: Jeremiah Salmonson
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Both the Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers came into Wednesday’s game trying to rebound from losses suffered prior to the statistically lopsided matchup.
Of course, the Cavs–especially Lebron James–were coming off the controversial Kevin Durant incident consisting of a reported three fouls in two minutes. The Kings’ starters were Garett Temple, Malachi Richardson, Zach Randolph, George Hill, and Frank Mason. The Cavs countered with a starting five of James, Jae Crowder, Kevin Love, JR Smith, and Jose Calderon.
The Kings played in front of what appeared to be a sellout crowd. During the first few minutes of the first quarter, the Kings seemed to have lacked energy. The score with eight minutes left in the first was 12-4. However, the Kings clawed their way back to a 15-12 Cavs advantage with 5:44 to play. At one point, the game would make its way to a 21-16 Cavs advantage, but Kings fans had no fear as their team roared back to finish the first with a 28-27 lead, thanks to Bogdan Bogdanovic’s buzzer two-point shot.
The second quarter would prove to be another strong display from the Kings. It began back and forth until the Kings came out to a 57-45 advantage following a three-pointer from Buddy Hield. Zack Randolph proceeded to hit a three from way downtown. With about a minute left to play, George Hill would hit a two to make it 62-53 Kings with 31.7 seconds left to play in the second. The Kings were up 55-62 at halftime.
The second half began with Randolph hitting a two from in close to make it 64-55 Kings. However, it was short-lived as the Cavs went on a run to make it 67-66, forcing Dave Joerger to take a timeout. With 6:45 left to play, the score was 69-68 Cavs. LeBron would dunk and transition followed by a Randolph two. Randolph made it a three by hitting his free throw and tied the score 71-71 with five minutes left in the third. Timeout halted play with 2:45 left and the score 79-74 Kings. To cap off a great third, Carter hit a three from the wing to put the Kings up 85-80 going into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter began in favor of the Kings, who went on a 11-0 run to extend the lead to 94-80 with 8:37 left to play. With 7:10 left, the Kings got a jump ball. The game sat pretty tight until Vince Carter hit a three to break the 100-point barrier and make it 101-87 Kings with 5:11 left. With 3:38 left, Willy Cauley-Stein was fouled and made one of his two free throws. Carter would hit a two and Temple then hit a three to make it 109-92 and appeared to put the game out of reach. LeBron would sit and the Kings went on to win by a final score of 109-95.