Kings Dethrone Cavs in the Clutch
A late Arron Afflalo three pushed the Kings past Cleveland, 116-112 in overtime.
Setting the tone early, Sacramento jumped out to a 10-0 run led by their defense. Coinciding with that, the Kings forced three turnovers in the first three minutes of action. Cleveland’s double-digit deficit was short lived, as the reigning champions responded with a 22-3 run to build their own nine-point advantage.
Garrett Temple’s 10-point opening frame kept the team within striking distance though, trailing by just four heading into the ensuing quarter. It was in the second quarter that Kings rookie Malachi Richardson hit on 4-of-5 field goals to spark Sacramento, earning his career-high in points in the process. Leading the comeback charge alongside Richardson was Darren Collison, who also scored nine to lead the team with a dozen at the halftime break.
Hitting on 14-of-19 from the field in the third, Cleveland’s three-point shooting turned around the contest. By quarter’s end, the Cavs flipped a six-point halftime deficit into a three-point lead. Fifteen of the Cavs third quarter points came from beyond the arc, where LeBron James made an impact. Last year’s Finals MVP generated 18 of Cleveland’s points, scoring on 10 and assisting on three field goals.
Trailing by 10 with seven minutes remaining, the Kings fought on with an 11-0 run to take the lead with just 2:39 to go. A back-and-forth affair ensued, with Sacramento pushing the Cavs to overtime.
Finding themselves trailing by five halfway through the overtime period, DeMarcus Cousins and Collison took over. The duo combined for six points in the waning two minutes to tie the game at 112.
With 30 seconds left, the Kings went on to deal Cleveland its final blow. Boogie, posted on the elbow with a double team arriving, kicked the ball out to an open Arron Afflalo, who calmly sank the game-winning three.