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Kings 102, Sixers 100: Clutch shooting late saves Kings

Kings make their shots when it counted most to overshadow an ugly, sloppy game
By | 0 Comments | Dec 27, 2016

A win is a win. The Sacramento Kings certainly didn’t play a game that deserves to go in the scrapbook, but they found a way to get the job done late. The team overcame an incredibly poor shooting night (7/25 from three) while also racking up some truly head-scratching offensive mistakes (19 turnovers), letting a young Sixers team hang around all night before somehow snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

The Kings were led by DeMarcus Cousins, who scored an efficient 30 points (10/20 FG, 2/4 3P, 8/9 FT), grabbing 7 rebounds, and dishing 5 assists. Cousins seemed to relish his matchup with the Sixers’ super talented big man Joel Embiid, as there was plenty of friendly jawing and dapping back and forth. There was some unfortunate slop mixed in, as Boogie did lead the team with 5 turnovers. Rudy Gay returned from a long layover and looked rusty for most of the night, but did end up chipping in 17 points of his own.

The Kings started the game on a quick 13-2 start as the Sixers couldn’t seem to get out of their own way. However, once Ersan Ilyasova checked in for Joel Okafor, the entire tenor of the game changed. It gave Embiid (25 points on 8/17 FG, 8/9 FT) the space he needed to really go to work on the Kings in the paint. The Sixers mounted a quick comeback, and the game was a virtual see-saw. The Sixers then managed to ride an impressive burst from rookie Dario Saric in the 3rd Quarter, where he scored all 12 of his points. Saric was terrific, nailing threes and taking poor Anthony Tolliver into the post and bruising right through him time after time.

The fourth quarter came, and once again it was the Kings’ reserves stepping up. Gay had struggled until this point, but he got a run next to Ty Lawson, Garrett Temple, Tolliver, and Kosta Koufos, and found his rhythm. The Kings erased an eight point Sixers lead thanks to Gay coming alive and Lawson chipping in points by getting into the paint. The teams went back and forth again, until finally the Kings found their three point stroke. Temple hit his first three to give the Kings a one point lead, and Cousins hit one on the next possession to give the Kings the lead for good.

Ultimately, it was a win, and they don’t count ugly wins any different than dominant ones. The Kings will have to play much better to beat better teams, of which several will be coming into town in the next few weeks. The Kings stand at 14-17, gaining a game on the Trailblazers, who lost tonight, for the eighth seed. The Nuggets beat the Clippers and remain hot on the Kings’ heel at 13-18.

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