Fox Scores 38 Points In His Playoff Debut As The Kings Win The First Game

NBA ARTICLES » Fox Scores 38 Points In His Playoff Debut As The Kings Win The First Game
Fox Scores 38 Points In His Playoff Debut As The Kings Win The First Game

On Saturday night, the Sacramento Kings celebrated their return to the playoffs after a record 16-year drought by defeating the reigning champion Golden State Warriors 126-123. De’Aaron Fox led the Kings in scoring with 38 points in his long-awaited debut in the playoffs. The win came as the Kings celebrated their return to the postseason.

The first playoff meeting between the Northern California neighbors lived up to the expectation, and the rowdy crowd, which had been waiting for a playoff game since 2006, was happy with the outcome.

The young Kings finished the game well, even though they were up against a Warriors squad that had won four championships in the preceding eight years.

The Kings answered with seven straight baskets, beginning with a 3-pointer from Fox, who finished the regular season ranked first in the NBA in clutch points. This came after Stephen Curry sank a 3-pointer from the corner to give Golden State a 114-112 lead with roughly four minutes remaining.

Curry made a layup with one minute left on the clock to trim the Warriors’ deficit to one point and keep them in the game. In the last few seconds of his first game in over two months, Andrew Wiggins could not convert a corner 3-pointer to give his team the lead.

With 2.9 seconds remaining, Malik Monk converted both free throws to bring the score to 126-123. The Kings won their first playoff game since April 30, 2006, when they defeated San Antonio. Curry had a runner from three-point range at the buzzer, but he missed it.

Domantas Sabonis ended with 12 points and 16 rebounds, while Domanik Monk concluded the game with 32 points off the bench.

Wiggins and Poole scored 18 points for the Warriors, while Curry led the team in scoring with 30 points. Klay Thompson added 21 points.

Fans gathered outside the stadium in Sacramento hours before the start of the Kings’ first playoff game after an NBA record 16-year drought without the team ever making the playoffs. The atmosphere was celebratory despite the city’s lack of recent success.

Some supporters even brought back the cow bells that were so ubiquitous during their playoff campaigns two decades ago, which contributed to the loud noise that could be heard around the stadium as pregame warmups began.

The enthusiasm affected the inexperienced Kings, as they had difficulty shooting the ball at the beginning of the game. Sacramento was behind Golden State in half by 61-55 and shot only 39.2% from the field. The Kings had missed their first seven 3-point attempts.

The Warriors could extend their advantage to ten points in the third quarter of the game; however, Sacramento finished the quarter on a 15-4 run, driven by ten points scored by Trey Lyles, and took a 91-90 lead into the fourth quarter.

WIGGINS’ RETURN

After being away from the club for more than two months to deal with a secret family problem, Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins did not exhibit many indications of urgency in his return to the court for the first time in as long.

After starting all 657 of his previous NBA games, Wiggins came off the bench for the first time and instantly influenced the game. The first shot he attempted was blocked, but he quickly recovered and made a block of his own on the defensive end of the court.

The one thing lacking in his game was an outside shot, as he went just one for eight from three-point range.

TIP-INS

Warriors: This was the fourth time in the 25 postseason series that Steve Kerr has coached the Warriors that Golden State has begun a series away from home. The Warriors were victorious in Game 1 and the series against Houston in the 2018 Western Conference Finals. In the previous season, the Warriors defeated Memphis in the second round. Toronto defeated Golden State in both the first game of the 2019 Finals and the series.

Monk’s 15 points in the second quarter for the Kings were the highest points scored by a Sacramento reserve in one quarter during a playoff game since at least 1997… Until Fox made one of his late-third-quarter 3-point efforts, the starting five for Sacramento had missed their first 15 shots from beyond the arc.

UP NEXT

The second game will be played on Monday night in Sacramento. Since the second round of the 2007 playoffs against Utah, when the Warriors faced elimination, they have not been down 2-0 in a postseason series.

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