Thanks to several comebacks, the Kings prevailed, 176-175, spoiling Russell Westbrook’s debut with the Clippers and prompting thousands of Sacramento fans to chant “Light the beam!” When the last bell sounded.
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This was a shootout from start to finish: The teams were tied at 40 after one quarter, and the Clippers then led 80-76 at halftime and 117-110 after three quarters. The two teams finished tied at 153 and were still deadlocked at 164 after the first overtime period. Finally, the Kings outscored the Clippers, 12-11, in the second overtime to make the final, eye-catching margin.
Only once has an NBA game seen more offensive fireworks: The Detroit Pistons beat the Denver Nuggets, 186-184, on December 13, 1983, for a career-high 370 total points in three overtimes. The Kings and Clippers combined to break the previous record for second-highest score, 337 points in the San Antonio Spurs’ 171-166 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on March 6, 1982, in triple overtime.
the The final result of the square It needs to be seen to be believed. The Kings set a new franchise record, surpassing the 165 points scored by the then-Cincinnati Royals against the San Diego Rockets in 1970. Since moving to Sacramento in 1985, the Kings’ previous best mark was 154 points in a 1993 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Clippers also set the franchise point-scoring record, surpassing the 153 points scored against the Milwaukee Bucks on April 1, 2022. Meanwhile, Los Angeles connected on 26 three-pointers for another franchise record.
Entering on Friday, it was the NBA teams Scoring 114.4 points per game, the highest average since 1969-1970. But even by the standard of the continuous scoring boom, this contest was in a class of its own.
Kings coach Mike Brown, for example, said he didn’t want games in the 1970s to become the norm.
“I actually take a baby aspirin every day,” Brown quipped. “I hope not. Because then I’ll have to take two aspirin a day. Let’s keep it a little lower, and hopefully we can win by a little bit more margin.”
Unsurprisingly, nearly everyone who hit the field got their share of buckets on Friday, as 14 players — seven on each side — finished in double figures. Kings guard Malik Monk led all scorers with 45 points, while D’Aaron Fox added 42 in the win.
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“Truth be told, there was defense, but there were tough shots,” Fox said. “out of the [219 total] Shots, watch the number of difficult shots. View all brands. There were a lot of hard shots, which is a testament to the talent in the league and also the speed at which we play. There was a very high level of shot making. A lot of players in this league, unless you block their shot – especially once you see it go two or three times – there’s not much you can do about it.”
Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard finished with a team-high 44 points, one number shy of matching his career high, and Paul George added 34 points in a losing effort.
“Crazy,” said Leonard. “Everybody was making shots there. Three-pointers, layups, getting to the free throw line. It was ridiculous.”
Among the other notable numbers: The Kings attempted 111 shots, scored 88 points in the paint, and had 42 points on the Clippers’ 25 total turnovers. The two teams also combined for 86 attempted three-pointers and 71 free throws.
Remarkably, the Kings cleared a 14-point deficit in the final four minutes of regulation, a six-point deficit in the final three minutes of the first overtime, and a six-point deficit in the last 1:50 of the second overtime period. For the win, Monk hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in regulation and a pair of game-tying free throws with 20.4 seconds remaining in the first overtime.
Then, with the Clippers leading, 175-169, with less than two minutes to play in the second overtime, the Kings went on a closing run 7-0. Fox finished the winning green cap with 36 seconds to play.
“We just raised our heads,” Monk said. We knew they would let us go back to it. keep going.”
Clippers forward Nicholas Batum missed a potentially game-winning three-pointer before the buzzer sounded. Monk threw the ball high in the air to celebrate the marathon win, which came on the second night of a back-to-back game as the Kings beat the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.
With the win, Sacramento improved to 34-25, good for the #3 seed in the Western Conference. The Kings are on pace to go 16 years without reaching the postseason, the current longest drought in the NBA.
“I don’t give anyone over there,” Fox said when asked about Westbrook’s debut with the Clippers. “We are coming. We are worried about us.”
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