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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 9, 2024 11:00 pm

Down 20, Thunder storm past Kings for crucial win

Kings, Thunder

Chet Holmgren broke a tie with a free throw with 1:27 remaining, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander capped a 40-point performance with the game’s final six points and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from a 20-point deficit to overtake the visiting Sacramento Kings 112-105 on Tuesday night.

Luguentz Dort backed Gilgeous-Alexander with 18 points while Holmgren finished with 15 and at team-high nine rebounds for the Thunder (54-25), who formally clinched no worse than the third seed in the Western Conference as they duel with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets for the top postseason spots.

De’Aaron Fox had a team-high 33 points and Keon Ellis a career-best 26 for Sacramento (45-34), which suffered a costly loss in its tussle for the sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot in the West.

An Ellis 3-pointer with 2:48 to go gave Sacramento its last lead at 105-104 before the Thunder scored the next eight points, two on successive 1-for-2 free throw efforts by Holmgren and the next six on a Gilgeous-Alexander jumper with 1:16 to go and two free throws apiece with 35.1 and 18.1 seconds left, respectively.

After Ellis’ late hoop, the Kings missed their final four shots — all 3-pointers — and mixed in a turnover.

Down by as many as 20 in the second quarter and 64-45 at the half, the Thunder got back in it with an opening 24-7 flurry that cut the Sacramento lead to 71-69 at the midpoint of the third.

Gilgeous-Alexander, who had missed six of the previous seven games with a bruised right quad, had nine points and Holmgren a pair of 3-pointers in the run.

The Kings regained as many as an 11-point lead later in the quarter, but the Thunder wouldn’t go away, getting within 87-84 by period’s end to set up the tight finish.

Fox had 21 points and Keon Ellis scored 20 in the first half, helping the Kings build their big lead. They combined for 11 3-pointers in the half as Sacramento made 14 of 31, outscoring the hosts 42-12 from beyond the arc at that point.

Jalen Williams added 11 points and Isaiah Joe 10 off the bench for Oklahoma City, which was opening a regular-season-ending, four-game homestand.

Domantas Sabonis was the game’s leading rebounder with 13 to complement eight points and five assists for the Kings, who wrapped up a 1-3 trip.

Keegan Murray recorded the game’s only double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento, while Harrison Barnes chipped in with 10 points.

–Field Level Media

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