Rudy Gay scored the final two points at Sleep Train Arena.
Not that he was celebrating being the answer to that trivia question in the future.
Gay was more relieved that the Kings had managed to edge the Oklahoma City Thunder, 114-112, in the home finale that was a celebration of the past before the team moves to Golden 1 Center for next season, in front of the 26th announced-sellout crowd of the season.
Gay made two free throws with one 1 to play, makes that were redemption after he missed a free throw that would have given the Kings a four-point lead with 11 seconds to play.
That allowed Russell Westbrook to throw the ball at the rim with seven seconds to play from beyond the three-point line. He was awarded three free throws and made all three to tie the score at 112-112.
780 Number of announced sellouts in 28 years at Sleep Train Arena
Gay was fouled on a drive to the rim to set up the game-winning foul shots.
“My teammates still trusted at the end of the game and I had to perform,” Gay said.
The free throws guaranteed the packed arena was happy at the final buzzer. There was a heightened sense of excitement all night, with more than 50 former Kings, and former coach Rick Adelman and former general manager Geoff Petrie in attendance.
“It was fun,” said guard Darren Collison. “The crowd was amazing the whole night. They were on their feet pretty much the whole entire game. I’m just happy that we got this win for this last home game for them.”
The fans have supported the Kings well all season, even though the team has fallen short of the playoff expectations many had.
“I think we saw what these fans can be in the near future if we make the playoffs,” Collison said. “They’ve been great. Ever since I signed here, these fans have been so unbelievable. Even when we were down, when we didn’t feel like we deserved their appreciation, they still came. So we’re going to try to reward them (next season) by trying to make it to the playoffs.”
The 26 sellouts are the most since the 2006-07 season, when the Kings sold out all 41 home games. In all, the Kings sold out 780 of 1,122 games in the building since it opened Nov. 8, 1988.
Kings coach George Karl said the team rode the electricity from the fans to the win.
That was thanks to Collison (team-high 27 points, eight assists), Gay (24 points, eight rebounds) and Seth Curry (20 points).
DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points on 7-of-24 shooting before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
The players might not have been caught up in all the former players, but were boosted by the crowd, which was loud with cowbells ringing all night.
“It’s a little different for me,” Gay said. “I don’t even know half the history here. Obviously I grew up watching Sacramento play against the Lakers and I know about the (Mike) Bibby shot. I think the fans make you emotional about it, seeing how passionate they are about this building.”
Karl was a proponent of the Kings staying in Sacramento. He said the crowd left his ears ringing, similar to the raucous crowds he encountered coaching Seattle in the 1996 playoffs when the building “scared” him as an opposing coach.
“Fans are incredible,” Karl said. “Fans are first class, style, loyal, committed and next year they get a fantastic new building that hopefully will have more playoff games. Rather than just regular-season nice wins, let’s have some playoff nice wins.”
Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with a game-high 31 points. Westbrook had 24 points and 10 assists.