nbcsports.com photo: De’Aaron Fox (5) of the Sacramento Kings drives on the Milwaukee Bucks Khris Middleton (22) at Golden One Center on Friday night
By Jeremiah Salmonson
SACRAMENTO–The Kings have been playing better of late. They are 3-1 in the new year and hoping to continue the trend after a brutal month of December. The Milwaukee Bucks were the opponent in store for the Kings. The Bucks have the best record in the NBA while the Kings are just starting to get their footing again. The tip-off was set for 7 PM PST at Golden One Center.
In the first, the Kings were flat outplayed. The Kings weren’t able to hit any of their nine three-pointers and only shot 38.1% overall from the field. The Kings mustered only 18 points in the first quarter. It was a different story for the Bucks. They shot 56% from the floor in the first and were able to put up 34 points. Leading the way for the Bucks was Eric Bledsoe who had 11 points. The Kings had four players with four points.
In the second, the Kings continued to miss shots. Thankfully for Kings fans, the Bucks couldn’t hit a three-pointer to save their lives either. The Kings shot 18% from deep in the first half while the Bucks shot a whopping 19%. Each team struggled mightily to hit from deep.
However, the Kings did manage to pull closer. The Kings scored 26 points compared to the Bucks 19 to pull within nine points. The score would be 53-44 as the teams paused for intermission. Leading the way through the first half for the Kings was De’Aaron Fox with 10 points as Eric Bledsoe dropped 17 first-half points.
In the third, The Kings rallied early. They even came all the way back and took the lead for a short minute. However, the success was short-lived. The Bucks rallied back to retake the lead and coast into the fourth quarter. The Bucks put up 37 points compared to the Kings 31 to make it a 90-75 headed to the final session.
In the fourth, there wasn’t much good for the Kings. Both teams traded buckets with each other to keep the game around a 15 point bucks lead. Unfortunately for the Kings, Harrison Barnes came up hobbling with a few minutes left in the game. It wasn’t apparently known the severity of Barnes’s right leg injury but it didn’t appear good.
Barnes hobbled off the court and the Kings couldn’t muster anything from the reserves as came in. The Kings ultimately fell to the Bucks 127-106. Leading the way for the victorious Bucks was Kris Middleton with 27 points followed by Eric Bledsoe who had 24. The Kings received good appearances form De’Aaron Fox and the aforementioned Harrison Barnes who both had 19 points.
Up Next: The Kings stay home to face the Orlando Magic on Monday at 7 PM PST.