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Kings overcome late cold spell to beat Knicks 103-94

January 23, 2021 GMT
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New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, right, is fouled by Sacramento Kings forward Glenn Robinson III, left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, right, is fouled by Sacramento Kings forward Glenn Robinson III, left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Harrison Barnes had 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and the Sacramento Kings overcame a cold shooting spell late in the fourth quarter to hold off the New York Knicks 103-94 on Friday night and end a four-game losing streak.

The Kings made only three shots over the final six minutes but made up for it by going 7 of 8 on free throws down the stretch.

“I felt like they kind of pushed us around a little bit in the first half and we were able to respond in the second,” Sacramento coach Luke Walton said. “That’s one of the top defensive teams in the league. A good game to get a win and get one in that fashion where we had to fight, fight, fight the whole game.”

De’Aaron Fox added 22 points and seven assists for Sacramento, which had lost nine of its previous 11. Richaun Holmes had 10 points, 14 rebounds and matched his career high of six blocks.

The Kings ended their skid by getting steady play across the board offensively and an improved effort on the defensive end. Sacramento also matched New York’s physicality, which helped swing the momentum in the second half.

“What we have to understand is nobody’s coming to save us,” said Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton, who had 16 points and four blocks. “We have to put pressure on the opposing team and match the physicality and show that we’re not going to shy away.”

Julius Randle had 26 points and 15 rebounds for the Knicks, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. RJ Barrett added 21 points and seven rebounds.

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“This was a weird, weird game for us,” Randle said. “We started off slow, worked our way out of it and was up at the half. The third and fourth quarter was a little bit of a funk. I don’t even know what happened. The ball stuck a little bit.”

New York’s offense also iced up late in the fourth quarter. The Knicks missed six of their final nine attempts over the last five minutes.

“Obviously we didn’t finish well,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “I did like the fight in the fourth quarter to come back, but we didn’t close it out. It’s hard to win on the road if you’re not doing all the little things. The games keep coming. We have to improve.”

TIP-INS

Knicks: Alec Burks had nine points and five rebounds in 27 minutes in his second game back from an ankle injury that sidelined him for three weeks. … Thibodeau won a challenge in the third quarter to overturn a defensive foul call against guard Elfrid Payton. … New York went into the night averaging 96 points over its previous seven games.

Kings: Sacramento set a season high with 14 blocks. … The Kings held a 15-0 advantage in fast-break points. … Marvin Bagley III fouled out with 55 seconds left to play.

HELP WANTED

Thibodeau noted that part of the problem came when the Kings double-teamed Randle in the post and he had trouble finding an open teammate to pass to. Randle agreed. “In the post they were coming right away,” he said. “It was a hard aggressive trap.”

SHOT CLOCK SNAFU

The game was delayed six minutes due to a shot clock malfunction immediately following Fox’s jumper 28 seconds into the first quarter. Players from both teams milled about the court during the delay, while Sacramento’s Buddy Hield chatted with the referees near the scorers table.

TRIBUTE TO HAMMERIN’ HANK

A video tribute to baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron played during a timeout in the first half. Aaron, the former home run king, died earlier in the day at the age of 86.

UP NEXT

Knicks: Play the Trail Blazers in Portland on Sunday.

Kings: Sacramento was scheduled to begin a six-game road trip with back-to-back games against the Grizzlies on Sunday and Monday but those games have been postponed in accordance with the NBA’s Health and Safety protocols. The Kings next game will be at Orlando on Wednesday.

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