San Antonio Spurs

Kings takeaways: What you might have missed in 129-120 loss to Spurs

Kings takeaways: What you might have missed in 129-120 loss to Spurs

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No one is going to hand the Sacramento Kings a playoff spot. That’s not how the NBA works.

Sacramento learned that lesson the hard way Friday night when the San Antonio Spurs throttled them early and built a big first-half lead. The Kings countered, like they have done all season long, but it wasn’t enough.

Led by former King Rudy Gay, All-Star DeMar DeRozan and the hot shooting of Derrick White, the Spurs stunned Sacramento by the final of 129-120.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings drop their first game of the restart and fall a game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for ninth place in the Western Conference standings.

Crushing Blow

Every game is a must-win for the Kings when you consider the eight-game restart. A loss to the Spurs in the opener is the worst case scenario for the team’s playoff hopes.

With Portland winning, the Kings have now fallen a game behind in the standings with just seven games remaining in the season. It’s not over, but Sacramento’s schedule gets so much more difficult from here on out. 

No excuses, the Kings might have just had their playoff dreams crushed before they even had a chance to make things interesting. 

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Game Legs

De’Aaron Fox spoke to the media following shootaround on Friday morning and declared that he had his “Game legs.” The Kings’ star in the making came out in the first quarter and allowed his play to explain exactly what he meant.

Fox ran right by the Spurs defense and found himself at the cup time and time again in the first half. Most of his shots found pay dirt.

Sacramento’s starting point guard scored 20 of his career-high 39 points in a wild first half that saw the Kings give up a 19-0 run before taking a one-point lead into the intermission.

From start to finish, Fox was the best player on the court, finishing the game shooting 17-for-33 from the field to go with six assists and three rebounds. 

[RELATED: Kings, Spurs kneel during national anthem]

Bogi Bombs

Bogdan Bogdanovic didn’t get off to a great start for the Kings, but that’s the beauty of the NBA. 

Sacramento’s starting shooting guard shook off the cold first half to provide a huge boost for the Kings. His back-to-back triples in the third quarter fired up the squad and got them back in contention.

On the evening, Bogdanovic finished with 24 points on 8-for-15 shooting, including six makes from long range in 31 minutes of action.

Kings, Spurs take knee during national anthem in NBA restart opener

Kings, Spurs take knee during national anthem in NBA restart opener

Kent Bazemore made it clear early Friday morning following shootaround that the Sacramento Kings intended to kneel during the national anthem in their first NBA restart seeding game against the San Antonio Spurs. 

“It’s a once in a lifetime moment, man, it’s a big opportunity for us to really make some real change, to add dialogue nationally about some of the things we feel personally and collectively,” Bazemore said.

When it was time, the Kings’ entire roster, coaching staff and trainer staff took a knee during the anthem. They weren’t alone in the silent protest. The Spurs players also took a knee, although coaches Gregg Popovich and Becky Hammon stood throughout the anthem.

[RELATED: Fox describes how coronavirus affected Kings players]

After Friday's game against the Spurs, the Kings will play seven more seeding games as they attempt to end their 13-year NBA playoff drought.

 

Kings vs. Spurs live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

Kings vs. Spurs live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

Kings basketball is back!

After the NBA was on pause for over four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, play has resumed in the Orlando bubble. The Kings have an eight-game sprint to the finish in order to try to make the playoffs, which they can do by either passing the Memphis Grizzlies in the standings or finishing within 3 1/2 games of the final overall seed to force a play-in round with that team.

The Kings' first game is a crucial one, as they face the San Antonio Spurs, who sit just a half-game behind Sacramento in the standings. The Kings' hopes of snapping their 13-year playoff drought could ride on winning this game vs. San Antonio.

Here's how you can watch Kings vs. Spurs online (download the MyTeams app here!) and on TV:

When: Friday, July 31 at 5 p.m. (Kings Pregame Live starts at 4:30 p.m)
TV: NBC Sports California
Stream: MyTeams app

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]