Thanks to several comebacks, the Kings won, 176-175, spoiling Russell Westbrook’s debut with the Clippers and prompting thousands of Sacramento fans to chant “Light the Beam!” That prompted him to chant. When the final buzzer sounded.
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It was a shootout from start to finish: The two teams were tied at 40 after one quarter, then the Clippers led 80-76 at halftime and 117-110 after three quarters. The two teams were tied at 153 and were deadlocked at 164 after the first overtime. Finally, the Kings outscored the Clippers 12-11, delivering an eye-popping final run in the second extra period.
Only once has an NBA game seen more offensive fireworks: Detroit Pistons beat Denver Nuggets, 186-184, Dec. 13, 1983, won by scoring 370 points in three overtimes. In the San Antonio Spurs’ 171–166 three-overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks on March 6, 1982, the Kings and Clippers combined for the previous record of 337 points.
The Final box score Must be seen to be believed. The Kings set a new franchise scoring record in 1970, surpassing the 165 points scored by the then-Cincinnati Royals against the San Diego Rockets. Since moving to Sacramento in 1985, the Kings’ previous best score was 154 points in a 1993 win. Philadelphia 76ers.
The Clippers also set a franchise scoring record on April 1, 2022, when they scored 153 points against the Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile, Los Angeles set another franchise record by connecting on 26 three-pointers.
Entered Friday, NBA teams 114.4 points per game, the highest average since 1969-70. But even by the standards of the current scoring boom, this match was every bit its own.
Kings coach Mike Brown said he doesn’t want games in the 170s to be the norm.
“I already take a baby aspirin every day,” Brown joked. “I hope not. Because I have to take two aspirin a day. Let’s keep it a little lower and win by a little more margin.
Unsurprisingly, nearly everyone on the court got their share of buckets on Friday as 14 players — seven from each side — finished in double figures. Kings guard Malik Monk led all scorers with 45 points, while De’Aaron Fox added 42 points in the win.
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“To be honest, the defense played, but the tough shots were made,” Fox said. “Out [219 total] Look how tough the scenes are. View all products. There were a lot of tough shots and that’s a testament to the talent in the league and the speed at which we play. The shot making was top notch. A lot of guys in this league, unless you block their shot — especially once they see it go two or three times — there’s not much you can do about it.”
Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard finished with a team-high 44 points, one shy of matching his career high, and Paul George added 34 points in a losing effort.
“Crazy,” Leonard said. “Everybody was out there making shots. Threes, layups, getting to the free throw line. This is ridiculous.
Among the other notable numbers: The Kings attempted 111 shots, scored 88 points in the paint and had 42 of the Clippers’ 25 turnovers. The two teams combined to attempt 86 three-pointers and 71 free throws.
Notably, the Kings erased a 14-point deficit in the final four minutes of regulation, a six-point deficit in the final three minutes of the first overtime and a six-point deficit in the final 1:50 of the second overtime. To seal the win, Monk hit a game-tying three-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in regulation and a pair of game-tying free throws with 20.4 seconds left in the first overtime.
Then, with the Clippers leading, 175-169, with less than two minutes to play in the second overtime, the Kings went on a final 7-0 run. Fox closed out the win with a go-ahead jumper with 36 seconds to play.
“We raised our heads,” said the monk. “We know they’re going to let us back into it. Stick with it.”
Clippers forward Nicolas Badum missed a game-winning three-pointer before the buzzer sounded. As the Kings defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday, Monk tossed the ball in the air to celebrate a marathon win.
With the win, Sacramento improved to 34-25, good for No. 3 in the Western Conference. The Kings are on track to end a 16-year streak without reaching the postseason, the NBA’s longest current playoff drought.
“I don’t give a f— who’s there,” Fox said when asked about Westbrook’s debut with the Clippers. “We are coming. We worry about ourselves.”