Fox, Holmes lead Kings by Spurs for 5th straight victory

Sacramento Kings' Harrison Barnes (40) drives around San Antonio Spurs' Keldon Johnson during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, March 29, 2021, in San Antonio. (Darren Abate, AP Photo)

SAN ANTONIO – De’Aaron Fox scored 24 points, Richaun Holmes had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings beat the San Antonio Spurs 132-115 on Monday night for their fifth straight victory.

Sacramento remains 11th in the Western Conference but is just outside the final play-in spot.

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“The goal through this season has been to make the playoffs,” Holmes said. “That’s what we’re focused on. Right now, just focused on getting better every day, taking one game at a time and just worrying about how we can continue to make ourselves better on both sides of the floor and let the rest take care of itself.”

Buddy Hield added 20 points for Sacramento, which has won seven of eight. The Kings starters combined to score 96 points, with each scoring at least 14 points and playing 30-plus minutes.

San Antonio point guard Dejounte Murray scored 23 points, but only had two points in the second half on four attempts. Derrick White added 19 points.

The Spurs are 1-4 to open a nine-game homestand, which concludes Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and have lost five of six.

The teams play again Wednesday in the finale of a two-game set in San Antonio.

“If a team shoots 50% in the NBA, you’re probably in a little bit of trouble,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “So, you can’t exacerbate that situation by giving up 23 points on turnovers, 20 points in transition. On Wednesday, our transition defense has to be better. We have got to handle the ball better.”

The Kings are averaging 120 points during their winning streak, outscoring their opponents by 11 points per game.

Sacramento extended the streak while working in recently acquired Terence Davis, Maurice Harkless, Delon Wright and Chris Silva. They were acquired March 25 in three separate deals with Toronto, Detroit and Miami.

“It’s been amazing,” Holmes said. “We’ve got a lot of good pieces that came in and we’re ready to work. They’ve given us unbelievable toughness.”

The quartet combined for 31 points on 10-for-18 shooting, with Davis scoring 14 and Harkless adding 13 in helping the Kings overcome a sluggish start.

San Antonio center Jakob Poeltl had 11 of his 17 points in the first quarter, scoring on a layup, a pair of tip-ins and a dunk against the smaller Sacramento lineup.

The Kings flipped the advantage, using their quickness and 3-point shooting to outscore the Spurs 41-29 in the second quarter and stretched their lead to 19 points in the third.

“We fought back against a team that’s a tough team with veteran players and obviously the job that Pop does,” Sacramento coach Luke Walton said. “We responded every time. One time it was the first group, another it was the second. The passion and the joy that the team had out there tonight is something we have to continue to strive to play with and play for each other.”

Sacramento finished 18 for 36 on 3-pointers with Hield shooting 5 for 9.

The Spurs have fallen behind by double digits in four of their five games during this homestand.


Kings: With his family in attendance, Tyrese Haliburton had 15 points and 10 assists for his first career double-double. C Hassan Whiteside missed his third straight game with a sore right knee. … Former Spurs center Chimezie Metu had five points in 13 minutes. … The Kings are 22-69 in San Antonio in franchise history and 17-52 since relocating from Kansas City to Sacramento.

Spurs: San Antonio announced it signed Gorgui Dieng. The 6-foot-10 center averaged 7.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 22 games with Memphis before being waived March 26. … DeMar DeRozan surpassed Chris Webber and Chris Bosh for 94th in career scoring with his 17,190 points. … Murray’s 21 points in the first half marked the first time he has scored 20 points in a half. … After completing their nine-game homestand, the Spurs will have only seven home games remaining in their final 24 games of the regular season.

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