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Kings cough up 19 point lead, hang on to beat Spurs

Sacramento stays alive in the play-in race

Sacramento Kings v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Darren Carroll/NBAE via Getty Images

The Sacramento Kings never seem to make things easy.

That was the case again on Thursday in their 115-112 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

After leading by as much as 19 points in the third quarter, the Kings did as they so often do; they fell asleep at the wheel. San Antonio grabbed the lead late in the fourth quarter, 103-102, but Sacramento eventually pulled away thanks to many free-throw attempts they got down the stretch.

Harrison Barnes had one of his best games, scoring 27 points on just eight shots. Part of the reason for this absurd efficiency is that Barnes shot 11 of 14 from the free-throw line, tying his career-high in attempts.

Barnes has quietly been consistent on the offensive end for about a month now, after having a pretty dreadful midseason stretch,

De’Aaron Fox continued his streak Thursday, scoring 26 points on 10 of 20 shooting. Fox has been on an absolute roll recently and has scored at least 20 points in 11 straight games. In addition to his offensive excellence, Fox had one of his best defensive games of the season, with three steals.

It won’t get much national media buzz, but Fox is playing the same ball he played last season during his career year.

As strange as it sounds, the Kings, who are just 24-41, are technically still breathing the play-in race at 3.5 games back of the 10-seeded New Orleans Pelicans.

Whether making the play-in is a good thing for this squad long-term is a whole different topic, but they certainly have a chance.

Sacramento will stay in Texas for their next matchup as they will see the Dallas Mavericks on the road Saturday.