SACRAMENTO -- Making history is never easy. On Tuesday night, the Sacramento Kings starting unit set a new NBA record for futility, which is not likely to be matched anytime soon. George Hill, Garrett Temple, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Zach Randolph and Willie Cauley-Stein couldn’t hit a shot to start the game.
The first team offense missed their first 12 attempts and turned the ball over three times before giving way to a steady stream of reserves. Rookie Justin Jackson dropped in the team’s first hoop at the 6:22 mark of the first and then followed it up with a lay-up at the 4:22 mark to cut the Thunder lead to 14-5.
Buddy Hield came off the bench to knock down a 3-pointer with 2:29 left in the period and then hit a jumper with 26.6 seconds remaining in the first quarter. After 12 minutes of play, the Kings trailed Oklahoma City 25-10 and things looked bleak.
Hield came out firing in the second, dropping in a pair of 3-pointers in the first 39 seconds of the period. Skal Labissiere hit a 10-footer, Justin Jackson knocked down his second triple and De’Aaron Fox stopped and popped from 20 give the Kings a 13-2 run to start the period.
More Hield and Jackson continued until the 4:08 mark of the second period when Cauley-Stein finally hit a pair of free throws to give the Kings their first lead at 31-30. Those freebies marked the first two points of the game by a Kings starter.
According to Elias, the 29 points scored by the bench was the most to start a game without a single point from a starter in NBA history. The previous mark of 23 points was set by the Milwaukee Bucks back on April 5, 2011 during a game against the Magic in Orlando.
It’s a statistical anomaly that means very little in the grand scheme of things. Sacramento shook off the poor beginning from the first team to shock the Thunder 94-86 and snap their seven-game losing streak.
Zach Randolph scored all 18 of his points in the second half as the Kings rallied and then sustained a lead. All five starters scored at least a point and they combined to score 41 of the team’s 94 points.