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Top five moments in Sacramento Kings history
Last night, the Sacramento Kings fought the 2 time defending champion Lakers into overtime before falling 116-108 in what may have been the final NBA game in Sacramento.
And who else better than the Lakers to potentially close out the NBA in Sacramento? Less than a decade ago, the Lakers and Kings squared off in a fierce rivalry that drew casual fans to the NBA and was much fun for all parties involved.
But now it appears those same Lakers may become a local rival, as the Kings look to prepare to head to Anaheim for relocation and once again re-brand themselves as the Royals, to avoid confusion with the LA Kings NHL team.
With that in mind, what were the top moments during the Kings' time in Sacramento? See below.
In no order:
The First Ever Game at ARCO Arena
Derek Smith had 36 points and the Clippers spoiled the Kings first ever game in Sacramento at ARCO Arena (now known as Power Balance Pavilion), winning 108-104.
Christie and Rick Fox fight in the 2002-03 preseason
Rarely is a fight a moment to commemorate but it is fun to remember a time when the Kings were a very relevant franchise and there was no bigger time for it while they were Sacramento than just after the turn of the century.. Due to the fact Doug Christie threw the ball at Fox after the game started, Christie and Fox locked horns and were separated. This calm only lasted for a little longer as Fox charged and caught Christie as he was leaving the court and they both threw fists at each other in Staple Center's entry way tunnel as teammates scrambled to break it up.
The fight received lots of headlines and heightened the already tense Lakers-Kings rivalry.
The 2001 Playoff Series Win over the Suns
Behind Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Christie, Bobby Jackson(notes) and company, the Kings eliminated the Phoenix Suns 3-1 in a first round playoff series. Back when first round series only required 3 wins to advance to the second round, the Kings won their first playoff series since moving to the West Coast.
The Comeback in Chicago
Down 79-44 in the third quarter, the Kings rallied to win 102-98. The Kings used a 41-12 run to turn a 83-50 deficit into a 95-91 deficit. Behind Tyreke Evans(notes), the Kings took a 99-96 lead and held on for the win. It was the second largest comeback in NBA History since the stat was first recorded.
2002 Western Conference Finals
Conspiracy or not, it is very tempting to say that the Kings were robbed of a Western Conference title and, barring a major upset in the 2002 NBA Finals, an NBA title in their series with the Lakers. Due to questionable officiating in Games 4 and 6, the Lakers were able to take advantage, hang around and win before the Kings, in many ways, imploded in Game 7.
It was the closest Sacramento ever came to a championship and served as the franchise's most shining moment.
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