Knicks take out Kings 116-96 at MSG for Sac’s 7th straight loss

The Sacramento Kings forward Louis King (23) and guard Buddy Hield (24) almost looks as if to say what’s the use as the New York Knicks RJ Barrett (9) lays one in at Madison Square Garden on Mon Jan 31, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Jessica Kwong

The Sacramento Kings (18-34) ended their five-game road trip at Madison Square Garden with their seventh straight loss, 116-96 to the New York Knicks (24-27) on Monday night.

Sacramento was without their best player, De’Aaron Fox, due to a sore ankle and trailed most of the game.

New York led for the last 43 minutes of the game and by double digits during the whole second half. Going into the final quarter, the Knicks had an 18-point lead.

The Kings’ leading scorers in the blowout loss were Tyrese Haliburton with 21 points and eight assists, and Davion Mitchell with 18 points.

Fox has been out since January 19 and missed four games. Still, Kings coach Alvin Gentry said the team is not worried about the point guard’s absence in the long term.

“I think that he is feeling much better,” Gentry said. “But until he feels that everything is there and that he can make the cuts laterally, we aren’t going to put him out there right now. But I am not concerned.”

Meanwhile, the Knicks snapped their three-game losing streak. Alec Burks and Evan Fournier scored 21 points each, and Julius Randle contributed 17 points and nine rebounds.

Gentry, who coached Randle with the New Orleans Pelicans, had some words about him

“I think he’s a better player,” Gentry said. “And he was a very good player for us. He was outstanding for us, really. I think he’s slowed himself down a little bit. Now I know he’s struggling a bit right now but it’s never because of effort.

Gentry added that Randle hasn’t shot the ball as well as in the past.

“But the way he attacks the basket, and his ability to handle the ball in the open court and create plays are all things he was starting to do when he was in New Orleans and I think he’s much, much better at it right now,” he said.

The Kings (18-34) return home to host the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. Tip-off is at 7pm.

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