Kings

Kings takeaways: What we learned from 104-99 win over Spurs

Kings takeaways: What we learned from 104-99 win over Spurs

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SACRAMENTO -- The San Antonio Spurs came into Monday night with a 14-game winning streak over the Kings.

That streak is no more.

The Kings turned up the speed in the second half and received huge performances from almost every player who stepped on the floor at Golden 1 Center. The end result was a stunning 104-99 victory over the Spurs.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings finished their homestand 2-2 and improved to 8-6 on the season.

Bogdanovic finally arrives

Bogdan Bogdanovic missed 11 of the first 12 games with a knee injury, and he had yet to look like the same player the Kings saw last season. 

Against the Spurs, the second-year guard went off for a season-high 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting and added three assists in 24 minutes of action. He ran the second unit to perfection and helped his team come away with a huge victory.

Crazy like a Fox 

De’Aaron Fox put the Spurs on skates, and the 20-year-old guard is showing all the signs of stardom for Sacramento.

Fox burned the Spurs with his speed on both ends of the court. There were moments when he looked like he was gliding on air. 

The sophomore guard finished the night with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, and added seven assists and two steals. His alley-oop to Willie Cauley-Stein late in the fourth quarter got the fans on their feet and helped seal the deal for Sacramento.

Regarding Harry

No NBA player wants to find himself in the G League. It typically means that things aren’t going that well.

But following Saturday’s loss to the Lakers, the Kings sent Harry Giles to Stockton to get some much-needed burn. 

The rookie ran over the competition in Stockton, posting 30 points in 23 minutes. The 20-year-old brought the same intensity to the court against the Spurs. 

He didn’t go for 30, but he played very well in his 16 minutes of action, finishing with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting and added six rebounds. It was a performance he might be able to build from this season.

Watch Russell Westbrook say 'game over' just before Kings' game-winner

Watch Russell Westbrook say 'game over' just before Kings' game-winner

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

That message might need to be relayed to Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, as he assumed he had just won his team the game after driving and finishing over Kings center Richaun Holmes with only one second remaining Monday night in Houston.

Buddy Hield had just hit a miraculous 3-pointer on the previous possession to tie the score, and Westbrook assumed there was nothing the Kings could do to win the game in one second after his layup.

Suffice it to say, the former NBA MVP was incorrect.

Nemanja Bjelica sent the Kings home with another road win, and stunned the Rockets with this DEEP buzzer-beater.

[RELATED: What we learned as Bjelica, Kings stun Westbrook, Rockets]

So much for Clutch City.

Nemanja Bjelica comes up clutch again as Kings take down Rockets

Nemanja Bjelica comes up clutch again as Kings take down Rockets

From the lowest lows to the highest highs. Welcome to the 2019-20 Sacramento Kings season.

It was just another manic Monday in Kingsland. After taking down Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks less than 24 hours earlier, the Kings hung around in Houston and then shocked the Rockets at the buzzer by a final of 119-118.

The road-weary Kings looked beat when Russell Westbrook took the ball right through the defense and scored a go-ahead bucket with one second remaining.

On the ensuing play, Cory Joseph scanned the court and waited patiently for Bogdan Bogdanovic to run through and then Buddy Hield.

Coach Luke Walton used his top scorers as decoys for Nemanja Bjelica, who calmly stepped to the left elbow and drilled a 33-footer as time expired.

“I was one of the options,” Bjelica told Grant Napear and Doug Christie following the win. “Great win for us. What can I say? I took a crazy shot. The ball went in. We deserve this win. And that’s it.”

Overmatched, understaffed and playing on the second night of a back-to-back against two of the best teams in the Western Conference, the Kings somehow swept a two-game set with the Mavericks and Rockets.

“We were very brave tonight,” Bjelica said. “It’s hard to play against this team and we played different and we won.”

Bjelica finished the night with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals for Sacramento. He’s not used to chatting with the media in post-game media availability and now he’s been the star of the show for the second straight game.

He wasn’t the only Kings player to put up big numbers. Sacramento tied a franchise record with 20 made 3-pointers, exemplifying a total team effort.

Buddy Hield scored 26 points on 6-of-13 shooting from behind the arc. His three-pointer with 8.4 seconds remaining tied the game and set up the wild final sequence of plays.

Harrison Barnes scored 19 points, including a huge 3-pointer that gave Sacramento the lead with just over a minute to play. Richaun Holmes chipped in 16 points and Joseph went 3-for-5 from deep, not to mention playing spectacular defense against James Harden throughout the night.

Walton turned to an eight-man rotation again after finding success with a smaller group in Dallas on Sunday. That means major minutes for the starters, including Joseph, who is beat up.

[RELATED: What we learned as Bjelica, Kings stun Westbrook, Rockets]

The group responded well to the tightened rotation. They’ve now won two in a row after a disappointing overtime loss in San Antonio on Friday. They somehow salvaged a 2-2 road trip and head home at 10-13 to host the Thunder on Wednesday evening.

It wasn’t a perfect game, but the Kings continue to bounce back and they are competing well, despite an early rash of injuries.