The Sacramento Kings are fresh off a highly improbable victory as they enter Wednesday's home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sacramento overcame a 27-point third-quarter deficit - including trailing by 17 with just over 2 1/2 minutes left - to notch a stunning 133-129 overtime win over the host Minneapolis Timberwolves on Monday.
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The Kings looked on their way to their seventh loss in a eight-game span before shooting guard Buddy Hield erupted for 12 points during a 21-4 run to close regulation and then they outplayed Minnesota in overtime. "We've been on the road for 10 days, and it's been an emotional last couple days," Kings coach Luke Walton, a former teammate of the late Kobe Bryant with the Lakers, told reporters. "We'll take it. What I love about this group is what they've shown all year, which is they don't ever stop fighting." Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul was so distraught about Bryant's death that he sat out Monday's 107-97 home loss against the Dallas Mavericks as the club's five-game winning streak reached an end. "I thought overall that our guys competed hard," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said afterward. "I think they played really, really aggressively. They gave us great effort. We didn't shoot it well."
TIME: 10 p.m. ET. TV: FS Oklahoma, NBCS California
ABOUT THE THUNDER (28-20): Oklahoma City shot 39.5 percent from the field in the loss to Dallas and guards Dennis Schroder (6-of-16) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (5-of-20) were among the players who struggled despite scoring 21 and 16 points, respectively. "We had a bad shooting night," Schroder told reporters afterward. "It happens, but on defense we should have been locked in and getting stops but we didn't do that." Forward Danilo Gallinari scored 14 points and also struggled by connecting on just 4-of-12 shots.
ABOUT THE KINGS (17-29): Hield finished with a career-high 42 points against the Timberwolves and he pointed in the direction of Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday, as a huge motivating force in his basketball career. "That's the reason I wanted to play in the NBA because of Kobe," Hield told reporters. "I feel that he was with me. He never gives up. That's always his mentality. Never give up. No matter what the stakes was, he was always pushing, always pressing. He's making sure guys feel him. That's what I did." Point guard De'Aaron Fox scored 22 points and his biggest basket was intentionally missing a free throw and grabbing the rebound and scoring the tying points with 3.6 seconds left in regulation.
1. The Kings won four of the past five meetings, including a 94-93 home victory on Dec. 11.
2. Sacramento F Marvin Bagley III (foot) could miss his fourth straight contest.
3. Oklahoma City C Steven Adams failed to score in double digits in five straight appearances after putting together a streak of eight straight with 10 or more.