DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points — all but two in the second half — and added 10 assists as the San Antonio Spurs finished with a flurry to beat the Sacramento Kings 129-120 on Friday in the Visa Athletic Center near Orlando in the two teams’ first game back into action after the league’s stoppage for COVID-19.
The win, along with Memphis’ overtime loss to Portland earlier in the day in another key Western Conference seeding game, moved the Spurs (28-36) to within three games of the Grizzlies for eighth place in the conference with seven games remaining until the playoffs.
The game was tied at 112 with 3:59 to play before DeRozan took charge, scoring eight of the Spurs’ next 13 points.
Derrick White added 26 points for San Antonio, with Rudy Gay scoring 19 off the bench, Lonnie Walker IV hitting for 16, and Dejounte Murray contributing 11 for the Spurs.
The Kings’ De’Aaron Fox led all scorers with 39 points, while Bogdan Bogdanovic hit for 24, Nemanja Bjelica added 12, and Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes contributed 10 points each for Sacramento (28-37). Kent Bazemore led all players with 11 rebounds off the Kings’ bench.
San Antonio started the game with the hot hand, building as much as a 16-point lead before settling for a 43-30 advantage at the end of the first quarter. The Spurs shot 65.2 percent in the period and got 10 points from White over the first 12 minutes.
The Kings roared back in the second behind Fox, eventually assuming a 65-64 lead at intermission. Fox led all scorers with 20 points in the half, with Bjelica adding 10 on 4-for-4 shooting.
White racked up 15 points in the half to lead San Antonio, with Murray and Gay hitting for 11 points each.
The Spurs regained the lead in the third and were up 96-92 heading into the fourth quarter, with DeRozan scoring eight points in the period. Sacramento went the final 2:50 of the quarter without a point.