by Matt George – Sports 1140 KHTK Reporter
After a couple days of fan frustration, a response sparked by the recent Yahoo article claiming that some in the Sacramento Kings front office are unhappy with head coach Dave Joerger despite the team’s recent success, fans were rewarded with an entertaining win inside the Golden 1 Center. Thanks to 16 three-pointers, the Kings defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder for the second time this season, 117-113.
The Kings got off to a red-hot start, scoring the first 10 points of the game and shooting over 70% for much of the 1st quarter. The players showed up for head coach Dave Joerger, who received a nice ovation from the Golden 1 Center crowd.
— Matt George (@MattGeorgeKHTK) November 20, 2018
“We really care about our fans,” said Joerger, “I love it here. Listening to that ovation tonight was very cool”.
Iman Shumpert, who scored a season-high 26 points in Sacramento’s win in Oklahoma City on October 21st, scored all 23 of his points in the first half Monday night. The Kings led 69-56 at the halftime break.
The Thunder weren’t willing to go down quietly. They took their first lead just before the 4th quarter after outscoring Sacramento 29-15 in the 3rd. Russell Westbrook and Paul George combined for 56 points on 49 shots.
The squad balled out to take the W at home 💪 pic.twitter.com/NP0Svet2QS
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) November 20, 2018
The Kings opened up the 4th quarter with a 7-0 run, and leaned heavily on the heroics of Buddy Hield’s three-point shot and Marvin Bagley’s rebounding. Hield finished with a team-high 25 points, including five three-pointers. Bagley dropped 15 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in rout to his first career double-double.
“I stay positive. Have a short memory,” Bagley told the media following the game, “I just play hard and try to stay aggressive. Gotta keep playing that way”.
“Every night is something different and a new adventure for him,” said Joerger, “He is a sponge”.
The Kings, now 9-8 on the season, look forward to a tough three-game set, featuring two meetings with the Utah Jazz sandwiched around a game in Oakland against the Warriors.
When asked about the most important lessons he has learned as a head coach, Joerger said, “It’s always about what’s in the best interest for the organization and for the players…”.