Sacramento struggled, shooting just 41.8 percent from the field for its first defeat in six games.
De’Aaron Fox had 20 points and four assists, while rookie Tyrese Haliburton chipped in with 18 for Sacramento. San Antonio was led by DeMar DeRozan, who finished the contest with 26 points and seven assists.
The Kings have still won seven of their last 10 and remain firmly entrenched in the Western Conference playoff race. Sacramento was due for a bad game after playing some of its best basketball of the season over the past two weeks.
Things started well for the Kings as they led 9-6 early, but the Spurs bounced back with an 11-2 run to go back in front by six less than seven minutes into the game.
Sacramento was able to close the gap over the final six minutes and trailed 33-27 after one.
Newcomer Delon Wright helped the Kings close the gap as soon as he got in the game. He scored 12 points in his first six minutes of action as Sacramento pulled even at 35-35.
But San Antonio’s 3-point shooting helped it pull ahead once again. The Spurs connected on eight of their first 16 attempts and went up 52-42 before the midway point of the second quarter.
Center Richaun Holmes did his best to keep his team in it, scoring 10 points in the period, including this nasty throwdown.
But San Antonio’s offense was the difference in the opening half.
Led by veterans DeRozan and Rudy Gay (who combined for 25 first-half points), the Spurs shot 53.2 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3 to help San Antonio pull ahead. Sacramento struggled to find its rhythm over the opening 24 minutes, shooting just 41.9 percent and trailed 69-53 at the break.
A poor start to the third quarter ended any hopes of a Kings’ comeback. They were outscored 21-14 over the first six minutes and found themselves down by 21 with six minutes left in the period. Sacramento would go on an 11-2 run to close the gap, but the Spurs held a 15-point advantage going into the final period.
San Antonio kept the Kings at bay through the fourth quarter, never allowing them to cut the lead to single digits. With the win, the Spurs are 2.5 games up on Sacramento in the standings.
The Kings have a favorable schedule coming up. They will host a Los Angeles Lakers team that is missing LeBron James and Anthony Davis on Friday, followed by a tough matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.