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Kings lose to Spurs despite career high 39-points from De'Aaron Fox

Jason Anderson, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in Basketball

De'Aaron Fox scored a career-high 39 points, but the Kings lost their first game in the NBA bubble, falling 129-120 to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night at the Visa Athletic Center at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.

DeMar DeRozan had 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting with 10 assists and five rebounds for the Spurs (28-36). Derrick White had 26 points and eight rebounds.

Fox made 17 of 33 from the field but just 1 of 7 from 3-point range for the Kings (28-39), who have a small margin for error in an eight-game race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Bogdan Bogdanovic had 24 points. Buddy Hield was held to six points on 2-of-13 shooting from the field and 1-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.

Fox surpassed his previous career high of 34 points, set in a 124-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 1. He also had six assists, becoming the first player Kings player to post 35 points and five assists in a game since DeMarcus Cousins on Feb. 14, 2017, against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"That's why we talk about De'Aaron the way that we do," Kings coach Luke Walton said. "We put a lot on him, but he's shown in games like tonight what's capable of. ... De'Aaron had a pretty special game and we're going to need it from him again."

The Kings committed 15 turnovers and sent the Spurs to the free-throw line 27 times.

 

"Going into it, we talked about it throughout training camp, rebounding, taking care of the ball, defending without fouling," Kings coach Luke Walton said. "I thought we had too many turnovers tonight and I thought we sent them to the free-throw line too often."

The Kings and Spurs played for the first time since the NBA season was suspended March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fox came out on the attack, driving for a couple of easy layups and hitting an early 3-pointer.

Fox helped the Kings build a 23-20 lead midway through the opening period, but then the Kings nearly fell apart. A second unit consisting of Cory Joseph, Hield, Kent Bazemore, Harrison Barnes and Harry Giles III looked oddly out of sorts, surrendering the bulk of a 19-0 run that left the Kings trailing 39-23.

Hield made a 3-pointer to spark an 8-0 run to open the second quarter. The Kings eventually got within four on a 3-pointer by Fox and regained the lead on a 3-pointer by Bogdanovic. Fox had 20 points in the opening half, helping Sacramento carry a 65-64 lead into the break.

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