site.btaBasketball Player Vezenkov Sets Personal Record in Sacramento Kings' Defeat to LA Clippers
Bulgarian basketball player Aleksandar Vezenkov, most commonly known as Sasha, achieved a personal record in the NBA on Thursday when it comes to minutes played and points scored in a single game. His 13 points in 24 minutes were not enough for Sacramento Kings as they suffered a 117-131 defeat to Los Angeles Clippers.
Vezenkov started on the bench but was a part of the starting lineup in the second half. He added 5 rebounds to his tally, while scoring 3/5 from distance.
Sacramento's loss came just a day after their impressive comeback against Golden State Warriors - a win for which Vezenkov was instrumental coming off the bench. He scored 8, grabbed 4 rebounds, made 2 blocks, and helped his team overcome a 24-point deficit. Sasha showed growth in the defensive part of the game, blocking Golden State's star Steph Curry once and defending him successfully on the last play of the match.
Even though his last two games showed his best performances in the league so far, Vezenkov remains critical on himself:
"I am trying to study the game and the players. I will never be a lockdown defender, let's be honest," he admitted in the post-match conference on Thursday. "But I want to be solid, help the team and not get exposed. I am improving with every game."
The Bulgarian also noted that his team was "emotionally empty after the comeback game" against the Warriors, but refused to take that as an excuse for the performance as he pointed out that Sacramento are not the only ones that have to play matches in back-to-back days.
Sacramento are currently second in the Pacific Division with 10 wins and 7 losses, as Vezenkov has played 14 out of the King's total 17 games, averaging 6.4 points and 2.3 rebounds on 36.5% from distance.
The team's Wednesday win over the Warriors secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament, where they won the West Group C which included Golden State, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder. Their next match of this competition will against Milwaukee Bucks.