Kings Blog

The Kings tried to play spoiler against the Spurs. A familiar face ruined that plan

Manu Ginobili, center, and the San Antonio Spurs used a fourth-quarter run to rally past Justin Jackson, right, and the Kings on Monday in San Antonio.
Manu Ginobili, center, and the San Antonio Spurs used a fourth-quarter run to rally past Justin Jackson, right, and the Kings on Monday in San Antonio. The Associated Press

Former Kings forward Rudy Gay scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half as the San Antonio Spurs rallied from a 14-point deficit to defeat the Kings 98-85 on Monday night at AT&T Center and clinch a spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

Gay, who opted out of his deal with the Kings last summer and signed with the Spurs in the offseason, also had six rebounds off the bench.

Willie Cauley-Stein led the Kings (26-55) with 25 points and 10 rebounds. De'Aaron Fox had 21 points and seven assists, and Buddy Hield scored 17 points.

The Spurs (47-34) didn't take their first lead until there was 10:18 to play. Still, the Kings led 77-75 with 6:31 left before the Spurs closed the game on a 23-8 run.

Manu Ginobili scored 17 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Spurs.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Bogdanovic is ready for a break

The Kings needed offense with several players either injured or being held out. Bogdan Bogdanovic would be an ideal player to look to for offense, but it was another rough shooting night for him. He shot just 1 for 8 and scored two points.

The rookie from Serbia has said he's more mentally fatigued than physically, but he's shot 13 for 40 (32.5 percent) in his last three games.

Hayes' hustle

Nigel Hayes signed with the Kings on March 31, as the team wanted to get a look at him heading into the offseason. On Monday, his energy stood out.

Hayes was active all over the court, finishing with seven points and nine rebounds, both career highs for the rookie out of Wisconsin.

The Kings need more energy players. Games like the one he played against the Spurs could earn Hayes a roster spot next season.

Working the line

The Spurs got back into the game due in part to a big advantage at the free-throw line.

The Kings have struggled to draw fouls all season and have to become better and forcing the issue and drawing contact next season.

The Spurs were 24 for 29 on free throws, while the Kings were 11 for 17.

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