One team had to end their losing streak in the game tonight and that team was the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs defeated the Sacramento Kings in a tightly-contested battle between two teams struggling to win games while important players sit out with injuries. San Antonio went into the game trying to end their three-game skid while playing without Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginoboli, who are all vital pieces to the Spurs’ success in recent years. The Kings haven’t won a game since the injury to their best player DeMarcus Cousins and were on a six-game losing streak entering tonight’s game. In the end, the Spurs came out victorious on their home floor, but needed a big fourth quarter to overcome the Kings.
Down the stretch, the play of Tony Parker and Tim Duncan was too much for Sacramento to handle. The veterans used their experience in late game situations to close out the Kings by hitting big shots in crunch time in order to pull out the 95-93 win. Parker hit a clutch three to take the lead late in the game and seal the deal for the Spurs. His effort was a big reason why San Antonio was able to end their three-game losing streak as he finished with 18 points and 10 assists to get the win. As good as Parker’s effort was tonight, at the end, his teammate Duncan stole the show throughout the course of this game.
Duncan dominated the Kings without Cousins in the paint to defend him. He recorded 23 points and grabbed an outstanding 17 rebounds in a monster performance to lead his team to victory. To go along with his double-double, he also manged to dish out five assists, which was good for second on the team behind only Parker. Sacramento had no answer for Duncan down low without their best player on the floor tonight. Without Cousins, Aaron Gray was matched up against the veteran, but he quickly took a seat as Duncan worked him down low in the paint.
The Kings were forced to play a smaller lineup due to Gray’s inability to guard one of the best big men in the league. With a smaller lineup, Sacramento led for most of the game as Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas tried to guide their team to a win with great efforts on the offensive end. Both players finished with over 20 points for their team and gave it their best shot against one of the best teams in the league. However, in the end, the smaller lineup played right into the hands of the Spurs because it allowed Duncan to become an unstoppable force inside.