In an emotional and loud game at the gym no longer called ARCO Arena, the Sacramento Kings knocked off the Los Angeles Clippers for the first time this season, winning 105-99. As fans packed the ol' gas pump to the brim in what was deemed the first sell-out since the Kings' home opener in November, Marcus Thornton scored 29 off the bench to lead Sacramento while "Sac-ra-men-to!" chants rang through the building.
(Breaking the third-person for a second -- I'm a Kings fan. I was in the upper deck. This place was loud, and spirited, and my voicebox is shredded, and my hands hurt, and this is how it's supposed to feel to be a sports fan. Painful and exhilarating all at once. Back to the recap.)
The fan-driven sell-out overshadowed the game itself, but the Kings' players rewarded the crowd with a strong performance, despite plenty of sloppy execution, as you'd expect when the Kings and Clippers hook up. Thornton drove the lane hard and showed off his repertoire of crossovers and dekes, drawing some appreciate oohs and aahs typically reserved for Blake Griffin. Griffin got some reactions, too, from boos early to gasps at a pair of ridiculous alley-oop finishes. (DeAndre Jordan's finish in the top clip is easily the most bombastic, but all three slams are worth your time.)
But this night was, again, about the Sacramento Kings and their fans. As such, respect Thornton's transition lob to Omri Casspi, which just about brought the house down in the fourth quarter.
The Kings have 11 more home games this season. Fans hope there are 41 more in Sacramento next season.