Kings show heart, but fall to OKC Thunder 106-101

March 12, 2018

NBA, Sacramento Kings

Photo credit: @SacramentoKings

By: Jeremiah Salmonson

The Sacramento Kings and Oklahoma City Thunder came into their game at Chesapeake Energy Arena Monday evening, having very different seasons. The Kings have had a record of 21-46, and the Thunder a record of 39-29. The Kings lost their previous game to the Denver Nuggets 130-104. The Thunder won their last game 104-94 against the San Antonio Spurs. The tip-off was set for 5:00 pm PST.

In the first few minutes of the first quarter, it was all Thunder, especially Carmelo Anthony. Only three minutes had passed into the game and Carmelo had already drained three 3-pointers. The Thunder continued to look dominant with Russell Westbrook, slamming an authoritative dunk roughly halfway through the first quarter.

The Kings changed that narrative though. After battling back into position, Frank Mason would be fouled with 2:14 to go in the quarter. He made both of his free throws, and the Kings pulled within one, 16-17. The quarter would end with the Thunder leading 19-16.

The second would start with the Kings’ Buddy Hield drained a three to tie the game at 19 apiece. The game would go back-and-forth with only two points separating the two teams with 6:04 to play. Koufos, Bogdanovic, and Jackson would finish with the Kings scoring in the second. The game would go into halftime with the Thunder on top 46-40.

In the third quarter, the Kings would come out firing. Justin Jackson would drain a three to give himself eight points on the night and pull the Kings within three, 43-46.

With 10:30 to play in the third, the Thunder had extended their to 43-51 and it wasn’t looking good. The Kings jumped back into it though, thanks to a part by a Justin Jackson three that made it 50-53. Although it may sound like a broken record, this game constantly went back-and-forth.

No team really jumped out to a commanding lead, even though the Thunder has a couple leads in double digits. Vince Carter would hit a three with 1:40 to go, bringing the Kings within one, 73-74. To close out the third, Garrett Temple would throw a layup and make it 79-78 going into the final quarter.

The Kings went into the final quarter with little optimism after taking a small lead into the fourth quarter. However, the lead was short-lived as Ferguson would come out and drain a three to give the Thunder back the lead, 81-79.

The game didn’t have any real separation until the Thunder extended the lead to 102-92 with 2:48 to play in the game. The Kings would battle trying to fight their way back, but ultimately succumbed to their wounds. The final score was 106-101 and the Thunder got their 40th win on the season.

What’s Next?
Kings return home to face the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm PST. The Thunder went on the road to face the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday at 4:30 pm PST. 

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