Sports Kings complete sweep of Thunder, still hope for playoffs
Kings get offence from defence, deal Ducks 5th straight loss
LOS ANGELES — Sean Walker and Mikey Anderson scored, Jonathan Quick made 21 saves and the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Monday night. Dustin Brown and Trevor Moore added empty-net goals for the Kings, who are six points behind St. Louis in the race for the final playoff spot in the West Division. “Our D is our key for us all over the ice, and when they score, that puts a little pressure on the forwards as well and we got to be on our toes and be in front of net so they can shoot it more," Kings forward Adrian Kempe said. “It was nice to see them score tonight and nice to get the ‘W’ as well.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Terence Davis matched his season high with 27 points, Buddy Hield had 21 and the Sacramento Kings beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-106 on Tuesday night to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Delon Wright added 21 points and eight assists for the Kings. Richaun Holmes had 13 points and seven rebounds. Maurice Harkless scored 15 points.
Sacramento (31-38) has won five of six to close within 2 ½ games of San Antonio (33-35) for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. To get in, the Kings must win their final three games and get help from other teams to leapfrog the Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans.
Thunder snap 14-game skid with 119-115 win over Celtics
BOSTON — The Oklahoma City Thunder were on the verge of making some unpleasant history. Lu Dort made it his mission not to let that happen. Dort scored 24 points, Darius Bazley added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the Thunder snapped a 14-game skid with a 119-115 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. Isaiah Roby and Ty Jerome each finished with 15 points for the Thunder, who won their first game since March 31 against Toronto. A 15th straight loss would have set a franchise record for Oklahoma City. “I saw it today and I told Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander), ‘Shai, we’re winning today,’" Dort said. "That was my mindset just before the game — to do everything to win.
“These last few games we’ve been clicking on a different level,” Davis said. “All the guys are filling their roles and stepping up when the opportunity shows itself.”
Beating the Thunder for the second time in three days left coach Luke Walton’s team with at least a mathematical chance of getting in.
“I’m really pleased with how our guys are continuing to fight,” Walton said. “It’s all about building habits, building behaviors and being consistent with it. It’s good to see as the season is coming down to the last games that we’re doing it as a group.”
Kenrich Williams scored 20 points and Darius Bazley had 18 for the Thunder. Moses Brown added 10 points and 13 rebounds. Oklahoma City has lost eight straight and 22 of 23.
“They felt us a lot more than they did the other night,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “The third quarter they came out and popped us pretty good, and it took us too long to get the car back on the road. The third quarter was the difference in the game.”
Kings rally to spoil James' return to the Lakers' lineup
LOS ANGELES — LeBron James' return to the Lakers' lineup wasn't enough to lift Los Angeles out of its slump. James scored 16 points in his first action in nearly six weeks, but the Sacramento Kings were able to rally in the fourth quarter for a 110-106 victory on Friday night. James suffered a high right ankle sprain on March 20 against the Atlanta Hawks and missed the next 20 games, which was the longest absence of his career. He played 32 minutes and was 6 of 12 from the field. He missed what would had been a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining. “For my first game, I felt OK.
The Kings stumbled early before finding their rhythm in the third.
After the Thunder went up 67-64 following Aleksej Pokuševski’s bucket inside the paint early, Sacramento scored the next seven points and never trailed after that.
“We came out and for the most part we were playing kind of cool,” Harkless said. “Luke called us out in the locker room. We decided to make it a point in the third quarter to set the tone and be the aggressors. From there it was kind of our game.”
The Kings made four consecutive 3s as part of a 14-2 run, then Wright made a pair beyond the arc to make it 103-83.
Damian Jones had a dunk and a floater in the fourth, and Wright’s fifth 3-pointer put Sacramento ahead 118-90.
Thunder: Oklahoma City fell behind 8-2 then went on a 17-2 run in the first quarter. … Theo Maledon did not play because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Ty Jerome (left calf strain) and Lu Dort (right knee patellar tendinitis) were also held out.
Kings: Davis, Hield and Wright made five 3-pointers apiece. … Marvin Bagley III, who recently returned after missing 22 games with a broken bone in his hand, did not play because of a soft tissue injury in his leg.
Thunder: Host the Jazz on Friday. Utah has won both games against Oklahoma City this season.
Kings: Travel to Memphis for back-to-back games against the Grizzlies on Thursday and Friday.
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Michael Wagaman, The Associated Press
Kings' failures lead to another long offseason .
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Even in a year during which the NBA expanded the postseason and added a pair of play-in games, the Sacramento Kings weren’t good enough to get in. The Kings have now failed to make the playoffs for 15 consecutive seasons, tying the league's mark for futility previously set by the Los Angeles Clippers. Hailed as a hero in Sacramento when he purchased the team in 2013 and saved it from a possible move to Seattle, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive is now once again facing another long offseason with some tough questions to answer. The future of coach Luke Walton is one. How to get an underachieving roster to play better is another.