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What we learned as short-handed Kings hang on to beat OKC

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Delon Wright

One last run.

With playoff elimination on the horizon, the Kings are trying to make things interesting down the stretch. Sacramento improved to 3-0 on its current road trip Tuesday night after surviving a late run by the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 103-99 victory.

Seven players scored in double-figures for the short-handed Kings, including 18 points each from Terence Davis and Buddy Hield. Darius Bazley put up a 24-point, 11-rebound effort and Gabriel Deck gave a nice performance off the bench.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings blew a big lead, but held on for a third straight win to move to 28-37 on the season. 

Stuffer of stats

Delon Wright isn’t the Kings’ first option at the point. He also isn’t the team’s second choice. But with De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton on the shelf, the veteran might currently be the most important man on the Kings’ roster.

While he didn’t score like Fox or toss a bunch of lobs like Haliburton, Wright stuffed the stat sheet in a huge way.

In his first start with Sacramento after coming over at the trade deadline, Wright finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and four blocks. 

Wright knows who he is as a player and exactly what his teammates need. 

Against OKC, he brought a little of everything including a huge bucket late.

Impactful

When Davis gets an early shot or two to go down, it’s usually a very good sign for the Kings. Against the Thunder, he came out firing away and made a huge impact off the bench.

 

Davis got it going from the perimeter, knocking down 3-for-8 from long range. With the Kings light on backcourt distributors, he added three assists and grabbed five rebounds in 31 minutes of play. 

He has had a rollercoaster ride in Sacramento since joining the squad, but Davis seems to be figuring out how he fits in. He’s bringing energy and physicality off the bench, which is exactly what the Kings need. 

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Board Buddy

With the Kings missing plenty of players, they need more out of everyone and it can’t just be scoring. 

While Hield put up solid offensive numbers, it was his work on the glass that stood out. The Kings’ starting shooting guard grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds on his way to his second double-double of the season.

In addition to the rebounding, Hield knocked down 4-of-10 attempts from long range. He’s still one of the best shooters in the league and the Kings need him to step up with the injuries mounting.