SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Dejounte Murray scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Sacramento Kings 113-104 on Friday night to end a five-game losing streak and strengthen their hold on the final playoff spot in the West.
DeMar DeRozan had 25 points, Murray added seven assists and six rebounds, and Keldon Johnson scored 16 for San Antonio.
The Spurs (32-34) were coming off back-to-back losses to Utah in a skid that knocked coach Gregg Popovich’s team down to 10th place in the West — the final spot for the play-in tournament — before holding off a pesky Kings team that had won its last four.
“They know very well that at both ends of it, it’s 48 minutes in a game and there’s ebbs and flows. They kept their composure and stuck with it,” Popovich said. “We turned it over at certain times for basically no reason but our defense sustained us. We hung in there and got it done.”
San Antonio has some breathing room now. New Orleans (30-37) lost to Philadelphia earlier Friday, while Sacramento (29-38) fell 3 1/2 back of the Spurs.
“Guys are disappointed,” Kings coach Luke Walton said. “We wanted it. All losses hurt. That was a big one tonight.”
DeRozan had 18 in the first half to pace San Antonio early but the Spurs trailed 81-78 going into the fourth.
Murray had six points as part of an 18-6 run to start the final quarter and put the Spurs ahead for good. Walker scored eight points in the final 3 1/2 minutes to help San Antonio close it out after the Kings pulled within 100-99.
“We just kept at it,” DeRozan said. “We held our composure. We buckled down when we needed to, got some scores, and we took off from there.”
Popovich moved within 27 games of breaking Don Nelson’s record for career coaching victories in the NBA.
Terence Davis scored 24 points for the Kings. Sacramento missed a chance to move into a tie with the Pelicans for 11th place in the West.
“Hate that we didn’t get it done,” Davis said. “Everyone knew it was a big game, that (the Spurs) were going to come out and play their best.”
GOOD NEWS FOR FOX
Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, who hasn’t played since April 21 while in the NBA health and safety protocols, was cleared to return to the team, although no timetable has been set for him to play again.. Fox made his first appearance at Golden 1 Center since going out and sat alongside some teammates on Sacramento’s bench. Delon Wright had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in his third start in place of Fox.
Spurs: Rudy Gay had 14 points in 24 minutes against his former team. Gay played with Sacramento from 2013-17.
Kings: Tyrese Haliburton, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the regular season because of a hyperextended left knee, watched the game from the bench. … Harrison Barnes (left adductor) missed his sixth consecutive game.
Spurs: Play the Trail Blazers on Saturday night. San Antonio blew a 16-point lead in the third quarter and lost when the two teams played in mid-April.
Kings: Host the Thunder on Sunday in the first half of a back-to-back. The two teams will also play in Sacramento on Tuesday.
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