UNC in the NBA: Justin Jackson, Vince Carter lead Kings against Spurs

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 01: Vince Carter
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 01: Vince Carter /

Spurs win despite big performances from Justin Jackson, Vince Carter

The San Antonio Spurs recovered nicely from a blowout home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, topping the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night despite nice performances from a pair of former Tar Heels.

Kings’ rookie small forward Justin Jackson and 20-year NBA veteran Vince Carter put on a show in San Antonio, scoring a combined 35 points and keeping Sacramento in the game for the first three quarters.

More from Tar Heels in the Pros

Jackson, who recently spent a short stint in the G-League, has been getting more playing time of late. And he’s taking full advantage of the opportunity.

Over the last two weeks, Jackson is averaging 21.2 minutes per game, more than he has during any calendar month of the season to this point. On Sunday night, he logged 30 minutes and scored 14 points, his highest total since the Kings’ November 9th game against the 76ers.

He hit 6-of-10 shots from the floor against the Spurs, including 2-of-4 from three-point range. He also grabbed five rebounds and dished out two assists in the team’s 113-98 road loss.

Carter, who turned 41 years old on Friday, had one of his best games of the season Sunday night, tallying 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He hit five three-pointers in just seven attempts, and 2-of-3 from the free throw line. He threw in an assist, a block and a steal and committed zero turnovers in 27 minutes.

The former North Carolina standout is one of just eight players in NBA history to make 2,000 three-pointers and currently sits at seventh-place on the all-time list. He’s also 23rd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list and roughly 300 points away from 25,000 for his career.

Despite holding a 50-49 edge over San Antonio at halftime, the Kings couldn’t hold on. They relinquished the lead, and the game, surrendering 64 second half points to the Spurs.

Rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox poured in 26 points for the Kings, most of which came in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Spurs’ tremendous scoring output over the final two quarters.

Next: UNC commit Coby White becomes N.C. all-time leading scorer

With the loss, the Kings dropped to 15-34 on the season and have the league’s third-worst record. They currently sit in last place of the Western Conference standings, 24.5 games back from the first-place Warriors.