The Sacramento Kings came out of the All-Star break knowing they had little margin for error if they wanted to make a playoff push.
Three straight victories to begin the stretch run has them creeping back into contention.
Harrison Barnes and De’Aaron Fox each scored 21 points and the Kings defeated the Golden State Warriors 112-94 on Tuesday night for their ninth victory in the past 13 games.
”It’s a big goal,” coach Luke Walton said about making the playoffs. ”But the way you achieve a big goal is by focusing on the present and what we’re working on, and showing up and playing a certain style every night. If we do that, we’ll give ourselves a better chance to achieve the big goal at the end of the day.”
The Kings still have plenty of work to do to reach that level, as they still trail Memphis by four games in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
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But after losing 15 of 18 games during a stretch in December and January, even having a shot at it is an achievement.
”I think we’re playing well on both sides of the ball,” Fox said. ”Things have been going good for us. We’ve been able to get stops when we needed them. … We’re playing our best basketball of the season.”
Buddy Hield made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter on the way to a 19-point night and Bogdan Bogdanovic had 17 to give the Kings their third straight win.
Marquese Chriss scored 21 points and Andrew Wiggins added 16 for Golden State.
The Warriors have lost seven consecutive overall and seven in a row at home for the first time since dropping the final seven home games in the 2000-01 season.
The Kings raced out to an early lead behind 14 points in the first quarter from Barnes and never trailed on the way to their third win in as many meetings this season with the Warriors.
This is the longest winning streak in the Northern California series for Sacramento since winning 15 in a row from 2000-03.
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