SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)The Sacramento Kings are finally building some momentum, although it might be too late to get them back in playoff contention.
San Antonio also has hopes of playing in the postseason but the Spurs are headed in the opposite direction.
Buddy Hield scored 31 points and made nine 3-pointers, Harrison Barnes added 25 points and the Kings beat the Spurs 122-102 on Saturday night.
”We defended, we rebounded and we shared the ball,” Hield said. ”We made shots. When you make shots, the ball moves a lot easier and the team gets more confidence. It was a spark that we needed. Hopefully we keep this up and build from this.”
Nemanja Bjelica had 15 points and six rebounds as the Kings won their third straight and sixth in eight games. Kent Bazemore scored 15 points and De’Aaron Fox had 13 points and five assists.
Sacramento is in 12th place in the West, five games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot.
San Antonio is only in slightly better position. The Spurs are in 10th place, one game ahead of the Kings and four back of the Grizzlies.
”We have a problem sustaining good play for 48 minutes,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said ”At the end of the third quarter, the last four minutes, it was a great game and we get outscored 17-2 with the second team out there. That’s unacceptable. Those guys have to man up and play better.”
Hield became the fastest player in NBA history to reach 800 career 3-pointers, doing it in 296 games. Golden State’s Stephen Curry was the previous fastest, having reached 800 in 305 games.
Hield was 9 of 10 beyond the arc and was greeted with chants of ”Buddy! Buddy!” after making his ninth to put the Kings up 120-98.
”Some of the shots are tough that he’s making,” Sacramento coach Luke Walton said. ”It’s finding that balance of having that gunslinger mentality that he has that makes him great and makes him so hard to guard, but also finding that balance and the discipline to do it within the offense.”
Sacramento made 19 3-pointers for the second consecutive game.
Dejounte Murray had 17 points, nine assists and nine rebounds for San Antonio. LaMarcus Aldridge added 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Spurs have lost four straight and seven of nine.
San Antonio’s frustrations boiled over in the fourth quarter when DeMar DeRozan was ejected after picking up consecutive technicals. DeRozan, who earlier was called for a pair of offensive fouls, was angry after being whistled on the defensive end and began to argue. After being hit with the first technical, DeRozan continued yelling at officials and was called for a second.
The Spurs were down by 13 at the time so it hardly mattered in the final outcome. But for a team that has dropped seven of nine, it was another blow.
”I felt like we were getting hit all night,” DeRozan said. ”Every little ticky-tack whatever they did seemed to get called. I just rather it be consistent on both ends.”
Spurs: DeRozan had 14 points and six assists before getting tossed. . Aldridge needs 28 points to pass Sean Elliott into 7th place on the Spurs’ career scoring list.
Kings: General manager Vlade Divac tried to remain optimistic regarding the health of Marvin Bagley III. Bagley has missed 39 of Sacramento’s 52 games because of injuries and is currently sidelined by a left foot sprain. Divac was asked if Bagley, the No. 2 overall pick last season, might have to be shut down for the remainder of the season. ”I hope not,” he said. Bagley sounded equally hopeful after the game, although he’s wearing a walking boot again.
Spurs: Continue their road trip with a stop in Denver on Monday. San Antonio has won 13 straight at home against the Nuggets but dropped four straight in Denver.
Kings: Play the Bucks on the road Monday. Milwaukee has won seven straight against Sacramento.
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