San Antonio entered having lost five of six, including a lethargic loss to Sacramento on Monday.
“I think we’ve created something about us, where we have been able to dig ourselves out of a hole more so than we would like,” Spurs veteran guard Patty Mills said.
San Antonio rebounded from that 132-115 loss to Sacramento with a quicker pace and greater energy defensively in the rematch.
“We assumed that’s the type of game they were going to play after we beat them the first game,” Kings coach Luke Walton said. “What to be learned from that is how much higher the intensity has to be in this type of setting.”
De’Aaron Fox scored 20 points and Tyrese Haliburton added 16 to lead Sacramento, which had not lost since March 20.
San Antonio held Sacramento to 53 points in the first half after allowing 41 points in the second quarter Monday.
After shooting 56% from the field and 50% on 3-pointers, the Kings were held to 42% shooting overall and 31% on 3-pointers.
“It was like night and day between tonight and (Monday),” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I thought they did a really good job. They were more aggressive, more physical and it carried over to the offense. We got a lot of good shots.”
The Spurs had nine steals and forced 12 turnovers in holding the Kings to their lowest production since a 129-105 loss in Philadelphia on March 20.
“I have to give the credit to the Spurs,” Sacramento center Richaun Holmes said. “They really controlled the tempo and the pace of the game.”
White stripped Fox near the top of the key and led a fast break that ended with Murray cranking back a one-handed dunk that put the Spurs up 12-9 just 4 1/2 minutes in. Murray then assisted on Keldon Johnson’s dunk a minute later. Johnson added a 3-pointer, screaming at and pointing to fans in celebration afterward.
San Antonio built its lead to 23 points on way to the win and improved to 2-4 in its nine-game homestand.
The Spurs are 21-3 when leading by 10 points or more in a game.
Mills received the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for February for his continuing efforts to provide opportunities and empower Indigenous young people in his native Australia.
He founded Indigenous Basketball Australia, which tipped off the first-ever Indigenous Community Basketball League (ICBL) in eight locations across Australia in February. The league is for players age 14 and under.
“Basketball as a sport has brought me happiness, joy, education and a real sense of purpose,” Mills said. “However, not everyone has had the same opportunities as I have, which is why I’m so dedicated to using my platform, my profile and my voice to develop innovative programs like IBA, which will allow my people to really own their story.”
Kings: Buddy Hield scored 14 points with 4-for-12 shooting from 3-point range. … Sacramento is 10-14 on the road this season. … C Hassan Whiteside missed his fourth straight game with a sore right knee. Whiteside has not played since Feb. 24 against Atlanta, when he had eight points and 12 rebounds in 18 minutes. … Delon Wright had 16 points after scoring just six points combined in his first two games with Sacramento after being acquired from Detroit in a trade March 25.
Spurs: C Gorgui Dieng was injured in his San Antonio debut on his initial drive to the basket with the team. Dieng, who signed with San Antonio on Monday, exited the game in the first quarter after spraining his right shoulder on a drive against Chimezie Metu. Popovich said he does not know the severity of the injury. … G Lonnie Walker IV has missed five straight games with a sore right wrist.
Kings: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Spurs: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday.
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