Written by: Tom Witt – ‘SpikeballTom’
Your resource for Sacramento Kings game recaps, stats, analysis and some witty thoughts. Go Sacramento Kings!
Go Sacramento! Kings End 8 Game Losing Streak
Maybe it’s the new year, maybe it’s Fox being back, maybe it’s because the Kings aren’t wearing those hideous red jerseys any more… Whatever it is, the Kings ended their 8 game losing streak, and are 1-0 in 2020! Go Sacramento!
The Kings came into this game ranked last in the NBA in pace of play. Coach Walton has put an emphasis on defense and executing in the half court on offense in the early season. Walton has said even though the Kings aren’t ‘running’ as much, there are still ways to increase the pace of the game.
One of those ways is to get the ball out of the basket quickly and push it up the floor. Instead of slowly walking up and getting into the offense with 14 or so seconds left on the shot clock.
OUT of the game: Marvin Bagley is out with a foot injury, and Dewayne Dedmon is out… because he’s pouty and isn’t performing.
In their first game of 2020 the Kings made their shots, played tough defense, pushed the pace and got the win… Crazy idea right?!
1st Half – A Tale of Two Kings
Sacramento got off to a good start with a block by Fox and pass up to Hield for the first two points of the contest.
The first quarter was marked by Memphis essentially playing with a fire covered basketball akin to the classic NBA Jam video game.
Dillon Brooks had 10 of the Grizzlies first 16 points. The Grizz are 8-0 this season when Dillon Brooks scores 20 or more points.
The Grizzlies went on a 10-0 run late in the first that was ended by a Bjelica 3 pointer in transition followed by a Harry Giles 2 point bucket.
The Kings couldn’t make their shots, along with being sloppy dribbling and passing in the first quarter. Memphis was 6/11 from 3 point range in the first quarter, and had a 42-26 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
2nd Quarter RESURGENCE!
The Kings fell down by 20 points at one point but they did not give in.
Sacramento went on an 8-0 run early in the 2nd quarter. The run was started off with back to back 3 point shots by Trevor Ariza and Cory Joseph. CoJo also grabbed a board, played tough defense and dished out an assist in this Kings early quarter surge.
With 8:00 left in the quarter Bjelica had a BIG block against the glass that had the crowd and Grant Napear FIRED up! The Kings were back in the game down 10 after a 12-2 run.
Holmes Sweet Holmes
The rest of the 2nd quarter was the Richaun Holmes show.
Holmes had two nice floaters in the lane, an alley oop, multiple rebounds and put backs, and an ‘And 1’ conversion. He was doing it all for Sacramento!
The Kings comeback was really sparked by great defense and pushing the pace on offense. Sacramento defenders were flying around creating deflections, picking up their man early, and playing tough man to man defense.
The Kings were pushing the ball up the floor on makes or misses, and that really helped them be successful compared to previous games. Sacramento was putting pressure on the Memphis defense and getting to the rim and drawing fouls. The Kings were in the bonus with 3:00 left in the 2nd quarter.
With 1:10 left in the 2nd quarter Bogdanovich hit a transition 3 pointer which gave the Kings their first lead since early in the first quarter at 59-58.
Kings announcer Grant Napear was FIRED up! And the Sac-Town crowd let the Kings know they appreciate the good basketball. The arena was rocking like the days when the SIXTH MAN were ringing cowbells in Phil Jackson’s ear in ARCO Arena.
The Kings ended the quarter well with Holmes getting an offensive board, was fouled and made both shots. He brings the activity, intensity and tenacity night in and night out! Holmes had 13 points in the 2nd quarter.
Some would say the Kings out-‘scored’ the Grizzlies in the 2nd quarter. I say they out-‘DEFENDED’ Memphis, winning the quarter 37-18.
A Barnes steal and Fox layup late in the 2nd gave the Kings a 63-58 lead going into halftime!
2nd Half Recap
Could the Kings continue their tough defense, pace and unselfish play in the 2nd half?
For the most part… yes.
Throughout the game the Kings did a much better job of ‘getting the ball out of the basket’ quickly on Memphis makes. They were able to push the pace, create offense, dictate the game, instead of letting Memphis control the game.
Memphis came out and picked up Sacramento full court-ish to try and stymie the Kings pace.
Memphis went on a 10-0 run late in the 3rd quarter to bring them back into the game. The Kings had 0 fast break points in the 3rd quarter. They also gave up 37 points in the quarter, while scoring 27.
The Grizzles built up a 9 point lead late in the quarter and went into the 4th with the lead.
Sacramento has had their troubles with CONSISTENCY this season.
They play a terrible quarter and then a great quarter, and continue the trend throughout the game. That is not a way to win games, or make a very disgruntled and hungry fanbase happy. Just my two cents… or my 85 Million… whichever you choose.
4th Quarter – Kings Comeback?!?
Bogi had 8 straight points for the Kings early in the quarter which helped to spark a 10-2 Kings run.
Defense was the name of the game for the Kings.
With just over 8 minutes left in the game Giles (also known as: HG3, H20) had a diving deflection on defense which helped energize the Kings to make a run.
The Kings gained the lead late, but had to hold on and stop a Memphis comeback. Memphis got it to within 4 points late, but the Kings were able to inbound the ball well multiple times, make their free throws and not do anything stupid to come out with the WIN!
Sacramento outscored the Grizzlies in the 4th 38-28.
The Kings end their 8 game losing streak! Go Sacramento!
Notable Player Stats and Thoughts – Go Sacramento!
Fox played WELL. He had 27 points, on 9-18 from the field, and 8-8 from the free throw line. He also added in 9 assists, 5 STEALS, 2 blocks and 4 rebounds.
Buddy Hield had a MUCH IMPROVED game. He had 26 points, was 5-9 from three point range, and added in 7 rebound and 3 assists.
Hield helped the Kings and himself when he was moving off the ball, which created some catch and shoot opportunities.He complimented Fox well, instead of trying to look to create his own shot, which usually leads to him dribbling too much and stifling the Kings offense.
Buddy needs to continue playing this style of basketball if the Kings are going to be successful.
Holmes had another SOLID game. He had 18 points on 7-10 shooting, 7 rebounds, and two blocks. Though, he did have 5 fouls and was in foul trouble early, Harry Giles came in and stepped up when Holmes was on the bench.
Barnes had 17 points on 6-10 shooting, complimenting the Kings offense well!
Bogdanovich started off slow but had another good game off the bench. Bogi had 16 points in 23 minutes. He also added in his own 8-0 run in the 4th quarter that helped spark a Kings comeback.
Team Stats – DEFENSE *CLAP CLAP*
The Kings defense and pace of play was the main catalyst of this win. The Kings caused 17 turnovers, which turned into 19 points off turnovers. They had 7 blocks as well! If there was a deflection stat, the Kings would have racked up A LOT of those as well.
The Grizzlies made 6 3 point shots in the first quarter but only 7 more in the last 3 quarters of the game.
The Kings improved their 3 point shooting from previous games, going 41.2% on 14/34.
The Kings went 26/31 from the free throw line, 83.9%. This was due to the fact the Kings were pushing the pace, getting into the lane, drawing fouls and not settling for outside shots.
The Grizzlies were trying to expose the Kings lack of size down low by featuring Jonas Valanciunas, who had 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Grizzlies did outscore the Kings in the paint 62-52. The Kings did a good job to not let the Grizzlies bully them too much down low, coming up with 7 blocks and only allowing the Grizz to grab 7 offensive rebounds in the game.
Game stats from ESPN: https://www.espn.com/nba/matchup?gameId=401161157
The Kings talked about pushing the pace, the need to not settle for outside shots and they did just that.
Sacramento was pushing the ball up the floor on makes or misses. This led to the Kings getting to the basket, drawing fouls, and dictating the game pace. They had 23 fast break points, and that was with 0 in the 3rd quarter.
Defense and pace wins games, whodathunkit?!
FINALLY, the Kings didn’t wear those HIDEOUS red jerseys. I say we stay with black, purple, white and the new throwback darker blue uniforms with the cursive ‘Kings’ across the front. DOWN WITH THE RED UNIFORMS!
What do you think, Kings fans? Leave your thoughts about the Kings uniform situation in the COMMENT SECTION!
Going Forward – Go Sacramento!
The Kings ended their 8 game losing streak and carry their new 1 game win streak into a home game Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Kings NEED another win against one of the few teams that is still below them in the western conference standings. Sacramento, with a record of 13-22, are somehow only one game back in the loss column of the 8th place Spurs.
I predict the Kings will beat the Pelicans and start off the year with a 2-0 record.
Whatever happens though, it is still and will always be… GO KINGS!
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