Sunday, January 29 2023

Following historic showing, Kings welcome Spurs to town

Two Western Conference teams headed in opposite directions at a rather rapid rate collide for the first time this season when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.

Rebounding from an 0-4 start, the Kings have won seven of their last nine games, including four in a row.

Meanwhile, the Spurs opened 5-2, but have since lost seven of eight.

Sacramento is coming off one of the season’s most eye-catching results, a 153-121 home demolition of the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. Terence Davis exploded for 31 points in the win.

Making 60 percent of their shots and 20 3-pointers, the Kings ran up the season’s highest point total and matching the fourth biggest in franchise history.

“All those players in the locker room deserve it,” Sacramento coach Mike Brown gushed after the win. “I heard the commissioner was in the building, too. To have him in the building and see Sacramento and see the work that those guys have put in … I’m excited for the city of Sacramento.”

The Kings have won four in a row at home, disappointing a rather impressive list of recent visitors — the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors before the Nets.

Depth has been a key. Seven different players have averaged double-figure points during the winning streak, led by Domantas Sabonis (21.3) and De’Aaron Fox (20.8). Meanwhile, Kevin Huerter (15-for-27, 55.6 percent) and Davis (10-for-17, 58.8 percent) have led a barrage from 3-point range.

The Kings will be seeing a Spurs team that has been surprisingly weak on defense. San Antonio has allowed 124 or more points on eight different occasions already this season, including 132 in a 37-point shellacking at Golden State on Monday.

The Spurs were much more competitive on the second night of a back-to-back Tuesday at Portland, hanging within 113-110 with less than two minutes remaining before missing their last three shots in a seven-point defeat.

The loss came despite a career night from center Jakob Poeltl, who hit 14 of his 17 shots en route to 31 points. He also found time for 14 rebounds.

“He was a monster tonight,” teammate Tre Jones boasted. “He’s always consistent in what he brings. He’s going to do what he does best: Fill the gaps on offense and be our anchor on defense.”

The Kings won the season series over the Spurs last year, prevailing in two of three contests between the teams, including a 121-114 home victory that was powered by 56 points from Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton, who are both no longer with Sacramento.

They were dealt to the Indiana Pacers last February for Sabonis, who has recorded eight double-doubles this season, including one with 26 points and 22 rebounds in Sunday’s win over Golden State.

Sabonis has put up five consecutive double-doubles against the Spurs, including contributing 12 points and 12 rebounds to a 115-112 triumph at San Antonio in March in his first visit after joining the Kings.

–Field Level Media

Source: Yahoo Sports


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