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Kings Fall Short To Spurs In Season Restart Opener

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

De’Aaron Fox scored a career-high 39 points in the loss

If the Sacramento Kings are going to attempt to snap their 16-year playoff drought, they will need to play better down the stretch than they did on Friday night.

De’Aaron Fox scored a career-high 39 points, but the San Antonio Spurs would take over late to defeat the Kings by a final of 129-120 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex located within Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

San Antonio burst out of the gates, taking a double-digit lead early after a 19-0 run in the first quarter. Thanks to the play of Fox, Sacramento would battle back, going on a 15-2 run of their own the second-quarter to take a 65-64 lead into the half.

Fox scored 20 points in the first half on nine-of-15 from the field.

The Spurs would outplay the Kings in the third period to take a 96-92 lead into the third-quarter. DeMar DeRozan, who only scored two points in the first half, came alive in the second half to finish with 27 points.

Between DeRozan’s scoring outburst and Kings center Richaun Holmes battling foul trouble, things started to shift San Antonio’s way in the fourth.

After Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a three-pointer to cut the Spurs lead to 109-108 with 5:45 left, the Spurs went on a 20-11 run to end the contest.

With the loss, Sacramento falls to 28-37 on the season, remaining 3.5 games behind the eighth-seed Memphis Grizzlies (lost to Portland on Friday).

Fox was firing from all cylinders on Friday night, scoring a career-high 39 points on 17-of-33 from the field. The speedy guard also grabbed three rebounds and dished six assists in the loss.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 24 points for the Kings, hitting six-of-11 three-point attempts.

Sacramento did not get a lot of production out of Buddy Hield, who struggled from the field on Friday night. The 27 year-old finished with six points on two-of-13 from the field (one-of-eight from the three-point line).

It was a frustrating night for Richaun Holmes, who spent most of the night in foul trouble, eventually fouling out in the fourth quarter with 10 points and six rebounds.

The Kings out-fouled the Spurs 25-17 on Friday, leading to 27 free-throw attempts by San Antonio.

Nemanja Bjelica chipped in with 12 points and five rebounds, while Harrison Barnes finished with 10 points to round out the leading scorers for Sacramento.

While the sting from Friday’s loss will assuredly linger through Saturday, the Kings will have to recover fast as the clock is ticking on their season.

With the loss, Portland and San Antonio jumped Sacramento in the Western Conference standings. In order to make up ground, the Kings will need help from other teams down the stretch–while also taking care of their own business as well.

Coming Up

Sacramento will be back in action on Sunday afternoon when they face Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic.

Back on January 13th, the Magic pulled out a last-second when after Aaron Gordon scored a go-ahead basket with one-second remaining. A last-chance attempt by Harrison Barnes failed, giving Orlando a 114-112 win at Golden 1 Center.

Tune in to Sports 1140 KHTK for all of the action, starting with pregame coverage at 2:30pm PST with tip-off following at 3:00pm PST.