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Kings edge Sixers, 109-108

Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Basketball

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Perhaps the Philadelphia 76ers suffered from the looking-past-their-opponent blues. Maybe they lacked focus because of all the sudden national attention they are receiving.

Whatever the reason, the Sixers were flat Thursday night. And they paid for it in a 109-108 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center.

Rookie guard De'Aaron Fox made the game-winning basket over Robert Covington with 14.1 seconds left. The Sixers still had an opportunity to win the game. But Joel Embiid misfired on a last-second jumper.

The Kings (3-8) scored the final seven points of the game.

The loss dropped the Sixers to 6-5 and snapped their five-game winning streak. They also fell one victory short of matching their best start through 11 games since 2012-13, when they went 7-4.

It's surprising that it didn't happen.

The Kings are regarded as the weakest opponent on the Sixers' five-game road trip. This matchup was supposed to be nothing more than a dress rehearsal for Saturday's showdown against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

However, the Sixers were sluggish and struggled to find their offensive groove. Embiid finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds but was far from his dominating self. The center made 7 of 20 shots after missing Tuesday's game against the Utah Jazz to rest his surgically repaired left knee.

Ben Simmons picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter but scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth. Simmons also finished the game with six assists and just two rebounds.

Covington scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half. The small forward finished with six three-pointers. The Sixers made 15 of 37 as a unit.

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