Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green knocks the ball away from Sacramento Kings guard Terence Davis (3) during the first quarter at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on Fri Jan 13, 2023 (AP News photo)
By Jeremiah Salmonson
SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings (23-18) were back in action on Friday night in Sacramento. The Kings last played Wednesday night in Sacramento against the Houston Rockets (10-32) as the Kings handled the Rockets by the final 135-115. However, the Rockets didn’t leave town. The Rockets stayed in Sacramento with an off day on Thursday. The Rockets and Kings were set to play again on Friday at 7 PM PST, the second of a two-game series. The Kings handled the Rockets on Friday night 139-114.
In the first quarter, neither team shined. The Rockets and Kings were trading baskets all quarter, with neither of the teams going on much of a run. However, Malik Monk hit three consecutive three-pointers near the end of the quarter to propel the Kings into the lead. The Kings outscored the Rockets in the first quarter 36-32. Malik Monk led the way in the first quarter with nine points. The Kings would look to have a more consistent quarter in the second to build the lead.
In the second quarter, the game stayed tight. The Kings and Rockets played little defense as the offenses had their way. When it was all said and done, the Rockets would outscore the Kings in the second quarter 34-31. The Kings defense continued to struggle to put up stops.
It is no secret the Kings weakness is getting stops and that was on full display on Friday night. Leading the way for the Kings in the first half was Malik Monk, who had 15 points. Jalen Green was doing the damage early for the Rockets with a 25-point first half. The Kings led at halftime 69-66.
In the third quarter, the Kings went off. The Kings offense led to defense as they held the Rockets to only 26 points in the third quarter. On the other hand, the Kings offense exploded for 43 points to break the game wide open. The Kings offense was firing on all cylinders.
The outburst would lead the Kings to a 112-92 advantage heading into the final quarter. Also worth noting was an altercation between Malik Monk and Garrison Mathews. Matthews and Monk were both ejected along with two other players for escalation.
In the fourth quarter, the minutes were purely procedure. The Kings continued to play well until the bench was emptied for the end of the game minutes. Leading the way for the Kings in the game was Harrison Barnes, who scored 27 points.
However, not to be overshadowed by Domantas Sabonis, who had a 19-point, 16 rebounds, and 16-assist game. Domas was incredible. Jalen Green led the way for the Rockets, scoring 27 points in the game. The Kings outscored the Rockets 27-22 in the final quarter; the Kings won the game.
Up Next: The Kings go on the road and travel to Texas as they take on the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday at 4 PM PST.