The Kings lost DeMarcus Cousins pregame due to a virus and also lost to the Spurs 112-104 at the AT&T Center, ultimately splitting their four-game road trip.
Spurs point guard Tony Parker took over, scoring 27 points and dishing for 8 assists in the sixth consecutive win for the reigning NBA champs.
The Kings (9-6) entered the final 12 minutes trailing the Spurs (11-4) by eight points but San Antonio extended the lead to 13 points on a Kawhi Leonard 3-pointer with 2:27 to go in the game.
Sacramento never got closer.
The Kings welcomed Rudy Gay and Darren Collison back to the lineup in San Antonio but it wasn’t enough to overcome the absence of Cousins versus the Spurs.
Sacramento was led by Gay’s 23 points, while Ryan Hollins and Collison contributed 15 points apiece in the losing effort.
Parker had only 11 points in the 94-91 Kings win versus the Spurs in Sacramento on Nov. 15th but matched that in the first 12 minutes as the reigning NBA champs lead 26-22.
The Spurs were 8-for-14 from 3-point range in the first half to enter the locker room with a 61-51 lead over Sacramento.
Hollins starting in place of Cousins provided a surprising spark, leading Sacramento with 13 points at intermission.
While Gay contributed 11 points in the first half, Carl Landry and Derrick Williams had eight and seven points off the bench respectively for the visitors.
The Spurs opened up the third quarter outscoring the Kings 15-10 to extend their lead to 15 points on a Tony Parker layup with 7:07 to go in the stanza.
Sacramento responded, cutting the Spurs lead to 88-80 at the end of the third quarter fueled by Ben McLemore’s 11 points.
And while the Kings threatened, the Spurs answered to each successive Sacramento run.
STANDOUT PERFORMER: Tony Parker was sensational for the Spurs, going for 27 points and 8 assists.
TURNING POINT: The Spurs extended the lead to 15 points after halftime on a Parker layup with 7:06 to go in the stanza. San Antonio, with coach Ettore Messina at the helm in Gregg Popovich's absence, weathered every Sacramento storm thereafter.
INJURY UPDATE: Sacramento – F Rudy Gay (right Achilles tendinitis) and G Darren Collison (left quadriceps contusion) were listed as questionable, yet started and played. C DeMarcus Cousins (virus) did not play.
San Antonio – F/C Tiago Splitter (calf) and G Patty Mills (shoulder) were out. G Cory Joseph (sprained left ankle) was listed as questionable yet played.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Kings return home for a five-game homestand commencing with Memphis on Sunday.