Down & Out: Sacramento Drops Must-Win Game To Spurs
The Kings would take a lead into the fourth before being outscored 35-23 by San Antonio to end the game
Even as the Sacramento Kings took an 81-78 lead into the final period, it almost seemed too good to be true.
The Kings, winners of four-straight games, had the 10th-seed San Antonio Spurs on the ropes with only 12 minutes standing in between Sacramento cutting the deficit for a Play-In spot to 1.5 games.
As it turns out, it would be too good to be true.
The Spurs ended the game on a 35-23 run to defeat the Kings by a final of 113-104 on Friday night to all but ensure that Sacramento will not qualify for a Western Conference Play-In spot.
With the loss, the Kings (29-38) fall to 3.5 games back of the 10th-seeded Spurs (while also losing the season-series tie-breaker to San Antonio) with only five games remaining in the season.
San Antonio would make it known early that they had no intention of letting their five-game losing streak continue, as the current 10th-seed team in the West opened up the game on a 7-0 run to set a tone early.
The Spurs would lead by as many as 10 points in the first, but the Kings would use an eight-point scoring burst from Terence Davis to respond with a run of their own to end the period, cutting San Antonio’s lead 25-21 at the end of the first quarter.
Davis would continue to light up the stat-sheet in the second, ending the first half with 15 points on six-of-seven shooting from the field and three-of-four from three-point range to keep the Kings within 52-49 at the halftime break.
Both teams would trade baskets in the third quarter in an all-around battle of a quarter that would end with the newest Kings (Delon Wright, Moe Harkless & Terence Davis) providing the offense with a spark to end the period and take an 81-78 lead into the fourth quarter.
Old friend Rudy Gay would come alive in the fourth, scoring a quick five points in the early minutes of the fourth to give the Spurs an 88-84 advantage with 10 minutes left.
After taking a 100-89 lead, the Kings would storm back with a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 100-99 with 3:29 remaining in regulation behind a furious run from Davis, Harkless and Wright.
Following a prayer three-point bank-in from Buddy Hield to cut the deficit to 103-102 with 2:37 remaining, the Spurs’ Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker IV answered back with baskets of their own to take a 107-102 lead.
San Antonio’s 12-3 run to open up the fourth would be too much to overcome in the end for the Kings, who would drop an absolute must-win game in brutal fashion after taking a lead into the final period.
The effort was there tonight. Sacramento battled until the very end when the Spurs went on one last run to create separation.
Even without De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and Harrison Barnes, this team gave fans at Golden 1 Center a show. Though it did not result in a win, you can tell that this team left everything that they had all out on the floor.
Rounding out the box score
Terence Davis was the heartbeat of the Sacramento offense in the loss, as the talented guard scored a team-high 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting while also swiping three steals over 33 minutes. Davis was very active, helping keep the Kings in the game with his solid defense, quickness and shooting ability.
Buddy Hield scored 17 points, pulled down five rebounds and dished out six assists while dealing with an ankle injury. Head coach Luke Walton said postgame that Hield “was playing on one leg out there” and “was begging for me to leave him in” late in the losing effort.
“He tweaked his ankle. He was begging to stay on the floor, but yeah he is very competitive and like I said, I am proud of how we fought tonight.”
Delon Wright has done an exceptional job of filling in for De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton as the starting point guard, and Friday night was no different.
The 29-year-old went eight-of-16 from the field to finish with 17 points, seven rebounds and nine assists over 39 minutes of action.
Moe Harkless was a bright spot for the Kings on Friday night, as the veteran forward would finish with 12 points on five-of-nine from the field to go along with five rebounds, four assists and two steals over 39 minutes.
Richaun Holmes tallied 15 points and five rebounds, while Damian Jones added six points and seven rebounds off of the bench to round out the key contributors.
- De’Aaron Fox (health & safety protocols) was cleared to rejoin the team on Friday afternoon, per James Ham of NBC Sports. The young guard will work out with the team and could return “soon”, per the report. Head coach Luke Walton stated pregame that Fox’s return date is unknown, but “everything is on the table” in regards to a return before the end of the season.
- Harrison Barnes missed his sixth-straight game due to an adductor strain.
- Robert Woodard II sat out due to back soreness.
- Tyrese Haliburton will not play again during the regular season due to a left knee injury.
The Kings will face the Oklahoma City Thunder two times over the next four days, with the first game coming on Sunday night at Golden 1 Center.
Just a few days ago (May 4th), Sacramento defeated OKC on their home floor behind double-doubles from Delon Wright (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Buddy Hield (18 points, 11 rebounds) to win by a final of 103-99.
Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Thunder coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30pm PST prior to a 7:00pm PST.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
- May 9 vs Oklahoma City Thunder
- May 11 vs Oklahoma City Thunder
- May 13 @ Memphis Grizzlies
- May 14 @ Memphis Grizzlies
- May 16 vs Utah Jazz
—–End of season—–