NBA regular season

Fox drops 41 as Kings survive Gilgeous-Alexander eruption for Thunder

Reuters

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Fox drops 41 as Kings survive Gilgeous-Alexander eruption for Thunder

DUEL. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) dribbles against Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (right) during the fourth quarter at Golden 1 Center.

Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

De'Aaron Fox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander both breach the 40-point mark in a high-scoring duel between two of the NBA's top guards, but the Kings get the last laugh over the Thunder

De’Aaron Fox poured in 41 points, Malik Monk and Keon Ellis combined for 35 off the bench, and the host Sacramento Kings overcame a 43-point performance by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for a 128-123 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, December 14 (Friday, December 15, Manila time).

In the opener of a six-game homestand, Domantas Sabonis recorded an 18-point, 16-rebound double-double against his former team, helping the Kings beat the Thunder for the second straight time this season.

Josh Giddey chipped in with 18 points for the Thunder. He hit consecutive hoops at the end of a 6-0 burst that got the Thunder to within 119-117 with 3:00 remaining, capping a rally from 14 down.

But Oklahoma City then missed its next six shots, including three three-pointers; and, before Chet Holmgren ended the drought with a dunk with 48.1 seconds left, Fox and Keegan Murray had hoops to push the Sacramento lead back to 6 points.

Gilgeous-Alexander tied his season-high in points with a layup with 6.1 seconds to go, making it a one-possession game again at 124-121, before Murray clinched the Kings’ third victory in their last four games with four late free throws.

Ellis shot 5-for-7 on three-pointers and teamed with Fox (five) and Monk (four) for 14 of Sacramento’s 18 three-pointers. The Kings outscored the visitors 54-33 from beyond the arc.

Fox’s 41 points were 2 points off his season-high and 3 fewer than his career-high set in 2021 and matched in 2022. En route to the ninth 40-point game of his career, he shot 14-for-23 and also managed 7 assists.

Monk finished with 18 points and 9 assists, Ellis scored 17 points and Murray added 15 for the Kings, while Sabonis complemented his double-double with 7 assists.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s 43 points were one under his career-high set in 2022 and matched last February at Portland. His 11th career 40-point effort and season-high-tying total were aided by a 16-for-18 night at the free throw line and was accomplished along with 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Lu Dort scored 17 points and Holmgren added 14 as part of a double-double with a team-high 11 rebounds for the Thunder, who saw a two-game winning streak come to an end. – Rappler.com

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