Stayin’ Alive: Kings Rout Thunder To Avoid Elimination From Play-In Race
If only for one more day, Sacramento is still mathematically alive in the race for Play-In spot
On a night that they could have been officially eliminated from Play-In contention, the Sacramento Kings would not go quietly into that good night.
Sacramento would shake off a sluggish start to blowout the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, wining by a final of 122-106 to pic up their sixth win over their last seven games.
With the win, the Kings (31-38) remain in the hunt for a Play-In spot in the Western Conference, although the 10th-seeded San Antonio Spurs can eliminate Sacramento with a win against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
San Antonio holds a 2.5 game lead (and also holds the tie-breaker over Sacramento) over the Kings with three games remaining in the regular season.
Not even 48 hours removed from a 28-point beatdown, the Thunder would come out with plenty of energy early. Oklahoma City opened up Tuesday’s game with a 28-18 run before the Kings would put out the fire.
Sacramento would use a late run paced by Terence Davis’ seven points off of the bench to cut the deficit to 32-27 heading into the second quarter.
Davis caught fire in the second, scoring 12 points (19 in the first half) while Buddy Hield (14 points) and Richaun Holmes (10 points) came together to extinguish Oklahoma City’s 12-point lead to keep things at 65-62 heading into the halftime break.
Although the Thunder finished the first half shooting 62-percent from the field, Sacramento did a good job of responding with runs of their own to ensure that the game did not get out of hand before the second half began.
As has been the case over the past four games, the newest Kings–Delon Wright, Moe Harkless & Davis–injected life into the Sacramento offense to put Oklahoma City on the ropes.
Wright would finish the third quarter with 18 points and eight assists in what was another incredible showing by the veteran guard, who paced an offensive attack in the third alongside Davis and Harkless to help create separation.
The Thunder had no answer on the defensive end for a Kings offense that couldn’t seem to miss in the third quarter as Sacramento would outscore OKC 40-18 in the period to take a commanding 102-83 lead into the fourth.
Oklahoma City would be unable to slow down the Sacramento offense to suffer its 25th loss over their previous 27 games.
Sacramento tied a season-high in made three-point field goals during the blowout win, finishing the night 19-of-39 (48.7%) from beyond the arc.
Rounding out the box score
Once again, Delon Wright ended a game with a stat-line that is usually seen from the likes of NBA All-Stars
Wright scored 21 points on an impressive eight-of-11 from the field while pulling down four rebounds, dishing out eight assists and swiping four steals. The 29-year-old tied a career-high with five three-point field goals, finishing the night five-of-seven from beyond the arc.
Terence Davis scored a game-high 27 points on nine-of-15 from the field and five-of-seven from three-point range over 31 minutes of playing time off of the bench.
The young guard has been a spark-plug off of the bench during Sacramento’s 4-1 run over their last five games, averaging 19.4 points per game over that span.
Buddy Hield continued to showcase his passing ability in Tuesday’s win, finishing with six assists just one game removed from a seven-assist performance on Sunday night.
‘Buddy Buckets’ also poured in 21 points on eight-of-15 shooting from the field and five-of-11 from the three-point line over 31 minutes of action. Hield is now just 12 three-point field goals away from tying Peja Stojakovic’s franchise record for most three-point field goals (1,070) with three games left in the season.
On his 28th birthday, Moe Harkless had yet another solid performance in a Kings victory.
The veteran forward scored 15 points on five-of-12 shooting from the field to go along with four rebounds, three assists and three blocks over 33 minutes.
Richaun Holmes added 13 points and six boards, while Chimezie Metu finished with 11 points and five rebounds to round out the key contributors for Sacramento.
- Harrison Barnes (adductor strain) and De’Aaron Fox (health & safety protocols) both were unavailable once again on Tuesday night. It is unlikely that either player returns this season as the Kings get closer to being eliminated from Play-In contention.
- Marvin Bagley III missed the game against Oklahoma City due to soft tissue tightness in his leg. With only three games remaining in the season, it’s possible that the team shuts the 22-year-old down for the final days of the season.
- Robert Woodard II missed his 29th straight game and his 22nd due to back soreness.
The Kings will hit the road for the final time this season when they head to Memphis for a back-to-back with the Grizzlies beginning on Thursday afternoon.
In their only meeting this season, the Grizzlies defeated Sacramento by a final of 124-110 in a chippy contest at Golden 1 Center back on February 14th.
You can find all of your Kings vs Grizzlies coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK starting with The Jason Ross & Doug Christie Show prior to a 5:00pm PST tip-off from FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
- May 13 @ Memphis Grizzlies
- May 14 @ Memphis Grizzlies
- May 16 vs Utah Jazz
—–End of season—–