The Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers played an all-time great NBA game on Friday night. The final score was already going to be among the highest of the season, but two overtimes later, it turned out to be the second-highest ending score in NBA history.
The Kings also had a thrilling comeback win with the final score being 176-175. De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk were the key scorers for Sacramento, combining for more than half of the team’s points.
Monk ended with a career-high 45 points and 6 assists, while Fox chipped in 42 points, 12 assists, and 5 rebounds. Both topped 40 minutes as well.
For the Clippers, it was Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, their two superstars, who combined for 78 points.
The more encouraging point, especially for Monk, was the efficiency the two guards were able to have. Fox ended 17-for-27 from the field, while Monk was 15-for-24. They were also a combined 8-for-16 from three-point range.
While Fox has a -2 +/-, Monk, in his 41 minutes, was +22. Both players combined for 5 turnovers, which, on top of their efficiency, was a key reason the Kings were able to outscore the Clippers by 7 in the fourth and cap off the comeback.
Monk will likely be a nominee for Most Improved Player of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year considering both his drastic improvements and the fact that the Kings are well over .500, now boasting a 34-25 record.
The Kings also have Trey Lyles on their roster, and he ended with 10 points in 19 minutes.
That wasn’t all for former Kentucky Wildcats, as Julius Randle tied his career-high of 46 points in the New York Knicks’ 115-109 win over the Washington Wizards. Randle shot 16-of-29 from the field to go with two rebounds, two assists, and two steals while playing 36 minutes.
Immanuel Quickly chipped in an efficient 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting with three boards and an assist.
More importantly, the Knicks (6th seed in Eastern Conference) and Kings (3rd seed in Western Conference) are both very likely to make it to the NBA Playoffs.
The Kings own the longest active playoff drought in the NBA, having not made the postseason in 16 straight seasons.
The Knicks have won just one playoff series in the 2000s and none since the 2011-12 season.
Here’s to hoping these former Cats are able to help their respective teams end their drought of postseason success.