Photo credit: @NBA
By: Jeremiah Salmonson
The Sacramento Kings are flying high for the first time since February 2017. The Kings were looking for a four-game win streak in Tuesday’s game against the Orlando Magic. They would have to do so with a less than 100% De’Aaron Fox. The Kings are calling it a minor back strain. Nonetheless, Fox was in the starting lineup against the Magic.
The Kings were hoping that Fox and his troublesome back would not be a problem. However, Fox showed a little discomfort a few minutes into the game. He played about half of the first leaving with roughly six minutes left. As for the game, it was a sloppy start for the Kings. Bad passes and miscues would be the story of the first. That led to the Kings trailing 31-26.
The Kings would prove to put things together though in the second quarter. The Kings, who were led by Nemanja Bejelica and Buddy Hield, pushed the Kings back into the lead. After scoring 26 in the 1st the Kings were able to up that to 33 in the second carrying a three-point lead into intermission. The score was 59-56.
In the third quarter, the Kings would continue to push the pace and score points. While both the first and second quarters were relatively stagnant, the third would be decidedly more paced and in the Kings favor. The Kings outscored the Magic 26-16 in the third to begin to pull away. Both teams entered the last quarter with the Kings leading the Magic 85-72.
The Kings could have coasted to victory, but missed opportunities and good shots from the Magic made it close. The Magic had cut the deficit to 91-94 with roughly five minutes to go. From there, the Kings were able to reel it in and push the lead to 107-99 to win the game.
When asked after the game, on how this type of up and down game could be a teachable moment for the young Kings, head coach Dave Joerger said, “We battled the whole game and stayed fast.”
The Kings (5-3) head to Atlanta to face Trey Young and the Atlanta Hawks (2-5) on Thursday at 4:30 PM PST.