Third consecutive game, the kings headed for one of the three best teams in the Western Conference in a playoff-style atmosphere.
The first two contests resulted in heartbreaking one-bucket losses to the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors. This time the kings came with a victory.
Buddy Hield scored 34 points to lead the kings to a dramatic 119-116 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Before journalists were allowed to enter the wardrobe after the game, players could be heard celebrating the winner.
"Family of three … 1-2-3 family!" They said.
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Marvin Bagley III had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Kings (31-28) who moved within 1½ games of Los Angeles Clippers to the eighth point of the Western Conference. They & # 39; Aaron Fox had 19 points and nine help. Willie Cauley-Stein, who took a critical charge in the declining seconds, ended with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Russell Westbrook had 41 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City (38-21), who lost three out of four against Sacramento this season. Paul George was held at 14 points on 4-of-19 shooting.
The kings had a simple plan to attack an Oklahoma City team that was on the second night of a back-to-back, having left the Utah Jazz in double-about Friday night.
"We must play fast," said Kings coach Dave Joerger before the match. "That's what we do. We are successful if we can get out and run."
The kings did exactly that and shot the pace early to get the Thunder into an up-tempo game. They tried 29 shots in the opening season and 50 in the first half, which shot 50 percent off the field while holding Oklahoma City to 35.8 percent shot. Sacramento opened a seven-point lead in the first quarter and went up by 16 a second before taking a 63-49 lead in the wardrobe for a break.
Thunder came out with more energy to start the second half, staging a 13-2 run to cut the deficit to three by 7:56 to play in the third quarter. The kings quickly restored a two-digit lead and went up 90-74 on a 3-point by Hield, but Oklahoma City continued to come back.
The thunder came within five points on a canister of Nerlen's Noel, cutting deficits to three on a transition building of Westbrook, pulled within one on a 3-pointer by Westbrook and took a 111-110 lead on Westbrook's run layup with 4:36 remaining.
The game remained close during the last four minutes. Fox made two free throws to give the kings a 118-116 lead with 29.3 seconds to play. Westbrook ran for a layup to tie the game back 11.5 seconds, but Cauley-Stein pulled in front of him to take the charge.