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Kings 117, Thunder 113: Sacramento survives late

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The young Kings fended off a serious Oklahoma City Thunder surge late in the fourth.

Kimani Okearah

Like Tim pointed out in the preview, the Sacramento Kings needed a win today. This win could’ve ended better but it is still a fantastic win, no doubt, as the Kings move to 2-0 against the Oklahoma City Thunder this season.

Iman Shumpert lit up the Thunder for the second time this season, with 23 first half points. He had 26 against them last time. As expected, he didn’t score in the second half but made a crucial steal and offensive rebound.

The Kings had multiple huge leads throughout the game, yet the Thunder kept coming back in with big runs of their own. The third quarter was the worst example of the runs, as the Kings couldn’t buy anything and the Thunder took advantage, eventually taking the lead towards the end of the quarter, even though they were trailing by double-digits at the end of the half. The Kings only scored 15 points in that period, but scored over 30 in every other quarter.

Marvin Bagley was huge in the fourth quarter. Quiet for most of the game, he came alive with 12 points and big rebounds and blocks. De’Aaron Fox made his first shot in the quarter and also dished out some fancy assists, which he had an abundance of the whole game. Buddy Hield started raining threes and eventually scored the game-sealing free throws after some ridiculous threes by Paul George.

This was a win the Kings needed and one they deserved. They showed out today, more than the final score shows.

First Quarter Observations

  • Iman Shumpert off to a great start, including a three
  • Buddy Hield making tough shots
  • A 14-2 lead, opposite to their slow starts
  • A lineup of Fox, Hield, Bogi, Shumpert and Cauley-Stein
  • SHUMPERT IS BALLING RIGHT NOW
  • 27-8 lead!
  • 12-0 run for OKC
  • Bogi just went through Steven Adams legs for the dunk to WCS
  • Harry Giles enters
  • 37-24 end of 1

Second Quarter Observations

  • Bagley’s quick release for three doesn’t work. He’s better when he takes his time on the shot
  • Fox comes back from the locker room
  • OKC make another run and it’s in single digits as Sacramento keeps turning the ball over
  • Bjelica three
  • Another three for Shumpert
  • Hield three and it’s back up to 11
  • Bjelica with a quarterback-esque throw to Shumpert for three
  • Shumpert up to 23 points
  • 69-56 Kings lead

Third Quarter Observations

  • Bjelica with the eurostep on Paul George
  • The lead cut to 64-71
  • Hield for three to get the Kings with some momentum
  • WILLIE VS. RUSS & ADAMS
  • 75-71 game
  • Kings struggling to find a basket
  • Tie game
  • Justin Jackson has entered
  • Bogi instant three as he enters and a JJ block!
  • No goaltending on Frank Mason’s layup...
  • This is just sloppy basketball by the Kings
  • Giles and Bagley keep missing down low, but Mason to the rim for the layup
  • 85-84, OKC lead

Fourth Quarter Observations

  • JJ corner three!
  • Bogi to Giles to Bagley for the dunk!
  • Bagley with a thunderous block, rebound and the hook the other way!
  • Bogi gets a three, great find by Fox
  • Hield a three
  • SEE ABOVE!
  • Bagley a double-double!
  • Hield another three!!
  • There’s Fox with the layup!
  • BAGLEY BLOCKED ADAMS
  • FOX HAS COME ALIVE! Credit to Shumpert for keeping that alive
  • Russell Westbrook making threes at the perfect time
  • Can we enjoy wins without teams making all their threes late in the game?
  • WTH Paul George??
  • Kings win! 117-113

Best Players

Buddy Hield 25 points on 9-18 shooting and 5-10 from three. His passing and dribbling have steadily looked better and he came up big in the fourth with multiple threes. The Kings should NOT trade him.

Iman Shumpert’s 23 was absolutely crucial, just like in the first win. He also had four steals.

Marvin Bagley in the fourth was needed as well. He finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.

Bogdan Bogdanovic off the bench was big again. His 16 points, five rebounds and three assists were huge. His turnovers were just sloppy plays, but he made up for them.

Nemanja Bjelica had 12 points and eight rebounds on 5/6 shooting. The effect resulted in a win.

Willie Money Watch

Willie had nine points, five assists and 14 rebounds. His 4-14 shooting was bad but not as bad as his failed push on Steven Adams after being fouled by Westbrook.

Notable Stats

The Kings were 16-38 from three.= and 11-17 from the line.

The Kings were outscored on the fast break, 28-19.

The Kings also out-rebounded OKC 59-53.

Next Game

The Kings head to Utah to face the Jazz on Wednesday at 6:00 PM PST.