Reigning NBA champions Miami have lost 103 – 108 to western conference strugglers the Sacramento Kings, despite sparkling form Heat star Lebron James.
James said after the game on Friday night he strained his right groin before finishing with 33 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, as Miami’s six-game winning streak ended. Whether he plays at Portland on Saturday night is uncertain.
“It ain’t feeling too good right now,” James said.
Miami had led by 17 in the first quarter, but Sacramento came back in the third – ending the quarter 74-73 ahead, with DeMarcus Cousins leading the way.
Miami got ahead again, and were two ahead with less than 90 seconds left.
But Rudy Gay tied the game, to send it to over time, where Cousins grabbed his 27th point of the night, as the Kings ran out 108-103 winners.
Gay made a jumper in the final minutes of regulation, and Sacramento quickly pulled away in the extra period to bring the sell-out crowd of 17,317 roaring to its feet.
New Orleans down Denver
Cousins had 27 points and 17 rebounds, Gay scored 26. Isaiah Thomas added 22 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to help the Kings snap Miami’s six-game winning streak.
Chris Bosh had 18 points and seven rebounds for the two-time defending NBA champions. Miami played without Dwyane Wade (rest), Ray Allen (right knee tendinitis) and Chris Andersen (sore back).
“I thought our guys accepted the challenge,” Sacramento coach Michael Malone said.
New Orleans beat the Denver Nuggets 105 -89, with Tyreke Evens calling the shots.
He teed up Darius Millier to sink from downtown, as the Pelicans ended the first 34-25 ahead.
Evans ended with 19 points and 10 assists, and set up Anthony Davis to round off their scoring.