SACRAMENTO -- The Kings are building confidence. They've strung together their longest home winning streak since 2006, and they are firmly planted in the Western Conference playoff chase.
Against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, the Kings jumped out to an early lead and finished strong to come away with a 127-112 victory. The starting backcourt of De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield put up big numbers, but the second unit made a tremendous impact on the game as well. Led by rookie big man Marvin Bagley and veteran guard Yogi Ferrell, Sacramento's reserves outscored the Spurs bench 60-32.
Sacramento is 2-0 against San Antonio this year, and they have already won the season series with the Spurs for the first time in nearly two decades. With the win, the Kings improved to 3-0 on the homestand and 28-25 on the season.
Here are the positives and the negatives from Monday's victory.
The sky's the limit, and Bagley is making strides. Not normal strides, more like Edwin Moses strides.
Bagley has been building towards something and he broke through against the Spurs' strong, veteran front line. The No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft put on a show, finishing the evening with an career-high 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field. He added 12 rebounds to post his third straight double-double, and he chipped in also four assists and three blocks in 31 minutes of action.
In the fourth quarter, the 19-year-old power forward nearly blew the lid off of Golden 1 Center with a stunning finish on an alley-oop.
Yo-gi ... Fer-rell
Kings PA announcer Scott Moak is one of the best in the business. He brings energy and sarcasm, and every once in a while, he starts something new and fun.
When Yogi Ferrell hits a basket, Moak plays to the crowd with a Yo-gi chant, to which Kings fans respond with a Fer-rell. On Monday, it was like a record that kept skipping.
Ferrell put on a show for Kings fans, scoring a season-high 19 points on a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor. He pushed the tempo, hit from all over the court and fans showed their appreciation.
Finding a niche on this team hasn't been easy for Ferrell. Sacramento needs more nights like this from the dynamic scoring guard.
Iman Shumpert has struggled with his shot since late December. He's had a couple of solid performances to build from, he finally looked like his impactful early-season self against the Spurs on Monday.
Shumpert hit his open jumpers, was disruptive on the defensive end and stuffed the stat sheet in his 35 minutes. He finished the night with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including three makes from long range. He added six rebounds, six assists and a block.
Against a big guard like DeMar DeRozan, the Kings needed Shumpert to do the dirty work and he came through.
Outside of Buddy Hield, every player on the Kings' roster has gone through a rough patch this season. Shumpert looks like he's coming out of his, and Nemanja Bjelica is making strides as well. Even De'Aaron Fox has struggled to maintain the same level through the first 53 games.
It appears that it's Bogdanovic's turn. The second-year guard is crucial to what the Kings are trying to accomplish this season. He plays three or four positions every night, and can start or come off the bench. Bogdanovic is Dave Joerger's swiss army knife.
Over his last 13 games, he has been all over the board. He has failed to score in double-figures six times over the stretch, including the last two games where he's combined to score 14 points on 6-of-22 shooting from the field, and just 1-for-11 from behind the arc.
The Kings are still winning and at some point, they'll start firing on all cylinders. The All-Star break seems to be coming at the perfect moment.