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Kings 101, Thunder 106: Way Better Than Yesterday

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The Sacramento Kings fought until the end, unlike yesterday, falling 106-101.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

If you watched this game, you should’ve enjoyed it. Although the Kings lost, they competed until the final buzzer. I’ll take this type of loss over the one yesterday every single time.

Offense lovers beware of that first quarter. After Carmelo Anthony began with a hot nine points to start, both teams struggled to make shots. Buddy Hield was 0/3, Zach Randolph was 1/4, Russell Westbrook was 1/4, Paul George was 0/4 but got points thanks to free throws. Sacramento shot 27% to end the period. The ugly first quarter would end with a score of 19-16. Talk about some execrable basketball!

Buddy Hield would open with a three, followed by a blatant miss by Vince Carter at the rim, which was followed by the ball being stuck behind the rim. Kosta Koufos ruined saved the day with a broom to keep this bad game going. Anyone else laugh at Willie Cauley-Stein’s reverse layup attempt? Turnovers and missed opportunities would ensue for both teams, until the Thunder got more threes to fall towards the end of the quarter. The first half would end at 46-40. Bodgan Bogdanovic has seven points in the quarter. George had 14 for the Thunder, followed by Anthony’s 13. Westbrook was 2/8 shooting for five points, five rebounds and four assists.

Random note: The Seattle talk during the halftime show gave me a bad taste. I wonder why...

Anti-tank fans, enjoy this quarter. The Kings saw their first lead in the final seconds of the third thanks to a Garrett Temple putback. The Kings scored 39 points in that quarter to take a 79-78 lead. 39! De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein showed their chemistry with alley-oops late in the quarter. THIS QUARTER IS WHAT I WANT TO SEE MORE OFTEN.

The Kings then fell back down to Earth. Scoring 22 points in a quarter is not enough if you want to challenge the Thunder. Fox was oh so good this game, but really exemplified this statement in the fourth. However, the Thunder would go up by 10, which would eventually seal the deal. 106-101 is the final score.

Best Performers

Bogdan Bogdanovic: Finally waking up after a string of bad shooting, Bogi would lead the way with 19 points on 6/11 shooting, 3/7 from deep. He also added eight rebounds in 29 minutes.

Justin Jackson: The scoring is what sticks out here. Jackson looked good today in 27 minutes, as he added 15 points on 6/10 shooting. 3/6 from deep. You hear it a lot but Jackson moves so well without the ball as we saw again today.

De’Aaron Fox: Not a night to remember shooting wise (4/12), but his vision is what needs to be taken away from this one. Fox earned a double-double today with 11 points and 10 assists. Some of those passes were ridiculous, in a good way.

Notable Performers

Garrett Temple led the way off the bench with 15 points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes shooting. Fox can thank Temple for hitting the three that got Fox his tenth assist.

Zach Randolph had 10 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes but man he shoots way too much for a team that wants the young guys to do more. He was 5/18 overall, 0/4 from deep.

Kosta Koufos added six points and ten rebounds, while Cauley-Stein came off the bench to score nine points and to grab seven rebounds.

Buddy Hield only played 14 minutes, but it was another bad shooting performance for him. He only scored three points, which was the lowest by any King. He was 1/6 overall, 14 from three.

Notable Stats

The Thunder shot 45%, compared to Sacramento’s 41%. OKC made 14/18 free throws compared to Sacramento’s 13/16. Last shooting stat: Kings made 12 threes compared to 16 for the Thunder.

Sacramento out-rebounded the Thunder 49-43 and out-stole them 8-5. Each team had 21 assists and six blocks. The Kings had more turnovers and fouls.

Carmelo Anthony and Paul George each scored 21, Corey Brewer added 16 and Russell Westbrook had a 17-11-10 triple-double.

Quick Takeaways

Like I said, I’d rather see the Kings lose like this than to get blown out in a snooze fest.

The matchup between these two teams provided some intense moments over the season.

The Kings are now 21-47.

Next Game

The Kings host the Miami Heat on Wednesday at 7:00 PM PST.

The Game in One Sentence

Just so the comments aren’t all filled with the usual topics, here’s something to debate about: If you drop soap on the floor, is the floor clean or is the soap dirty?