Photo credit: @NBA
By: Jeremiah Salmonson
Sunday’s matchup featured the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. The Spurs have guaranteed themselves a playoff spot, and the Kings were recently eliminated from contention. Sunday’s game for the Kings was the last stop on a five-game road swing taking them through Los Angeles, Dallas, New Orleans, Houston, and San Antonio. The tip-off was set for 4:00 PM PST.
In the first quarter, the Kings showed what appeared to be a lack of energy, which is understandable considering this game was the second night of a back-to-back. With seven minutes having already passed in the first, the Kings were down by 10 with the score being 21-11. At this point, the game was looking close to getting out of hand. LaMarcus Aldridge led all scorers in the first with a terrorizing 18 points. However, the Kings weren’t gonna go away quietly in the first. They battled back to make it a two-point game after the first quarter 30-28.
In the second quarter, the Kings and Spurs traded baskets. It’d prove to be one of the more entertaining quarters this year. Buddy Hield led the Kings in scoring in the first half dropping 11 points with Fox behind him with nine points. For the Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points with Rudy Gay behind him with 12. Going into halftime, the Kings managed to take a slim lead 58-57 into the locker room.
The third quarter was filled with excitement and back and forth between the Kings and Spurs. The Kings scored 31 points compared to the Spurs’ 30. This gave the Kings a two-point 89-87 lead going into the last 12 minutes. In the third, the fiery Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected after an out-of-bounds call going against the Spurs. Popovich was immediately T’d up following the play then proceeded to go onto the court and was dealt the ejection. It was a entertaining turn of events as the teams continued to put on a show. Leading the way through three quarters for the Kings were Buddy Hield with 24 points, Harrison Barnes with 11 points, and Willie Cauley-Stein with 10 points.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Kings seemed confident and that was exactly what the Kings played with. The Kings started the fourth by scoring the first nine points to take a 98-87 lead. From there, the Spurs made a run to tie the game, and it was a back-and-forth affair until the final minute of the game. The Kings managed to get a few key defensive stops paired with some makes to beat the Spurs 113-106. It was a great game for a young Kings team that was eliminated from playoff contention just the night before.
NOTES: Kings swept the season series for the first time ever against the Spurs. The Kings beat the Spurs at home for the first time since 2012.
UP NEXT: The Kings head home to host the Houston Rockets Tuesday at 7:00 PM PST.