San Antonio Spurs defeated Sacramento Kings 120-106 on Wednesday night, ending their five-game winning streak. DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points.
San Antonio had lost five of its previous six games, including a sluggish defeat to Sacramento on Monday.
“I think we’ve created something about us, where we have been able to dig ourselves out of a hole more so than we would like,” Spurs veteran guard Patty Mills said.
In the rematch, San Antonio improved on its 132-115 defeat to Sacramento by playing at a faster pace and with more defensive energy.
“We assumed that’s the type of game they were going to play after we beat them the first game,” Kings coach Luke Walton said. “What to be learned from that is how much higher the intensity has to be in this type of setting.”
For San Antonio, Derrick White had 18 points, Rudy Gay had 16, and Jakob Poeltl had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Sacramento, which had not lost since March 20, was led by De’Aaron Fox’s 20 points and Tyrese Haliburton’s 16 points.
After allowing 41 points in the second quarter on Monday, San Antonio held Sacramento to 53 points in the first half.
The Kings were held to 42% shooting overall and 31% on 3-pointers after shooting 56 percent from the field and 50 percent on 3-pointers in the previous game.
“It was like night and day between tonight and (Monday),” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I thought they did a really good job. They were more aggressive, more physical and it carried over to the offense. We got a lot of good shots.”
In holding the Kings to their lowest performance since a 129-105 loss in Philadelphia on March 20, the Spurs had nine steals and forced 12 turnovers.
“I have to give the credit to the Spurs,” Sacramento center Richaun Holmes said. “They really controlled the tempo and the pace of the game.”
White caught Fox near the top of the key and led a fast break that ended with Murray slamming home a one-handed dunk to bring the Spurs up 12-9 just 4 1/2 minutes into the game. A minute later, Murray assisted on Keldon Johnson’s dunk. Johnson then added a 3-pointer, celebrating by yelling at and pointing to the crowd.
On the way to the victory, San Antonio established a 23-point lead and improved to 2-4 in its nine-game homestand.
When leading by 10 points or more in a game, the Spurs are 21-3.
For his ongoing efforts to provide opportunities and empower Indigenous young people in his native Australia, Mills won the NBA Cares Community Assist Award in February.
In February, he created Indigenous Basketball Australia, which kicked off the first-ever Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL) in eight Australian cities. Players must be 14 years old or younger to participate in the league.
Mills said, “Basketball as a sport has given me happiness, pleasure, education, and a true sense of purpose.” “However, not everyone has had the same opportunities as I have, which is why I’m so dedicated to using my platform, my profile and my voice to develop innovative programs like IBA, which will allow my people to really own their story.”