by Charlie O. Mallonee
“That was embarassing,” said Kings Head Coach Luke Walton after his team was blown out by the Utah Jazz 113-81 on Saturday night. Walton was not blaming just his players. He was blaming himself and his coaching staff as well. The poor performance the team has shown in its 0-3 start to the season has the entire organization on edge.
To say that no one saw this coming is a total understatement. The Kings were projected to be one of the teams fighting for the eighth playoff slot in the NBA Western Division. Right now, fans are asking when will the Kings win their first game of the season.
This game was over by halftime
The Kings trailed the Jazz 35-25 after the first 12 minutes were in the book. Then came the disastrous second period. Utah outscored Sacramento 31-16.
The Kings put in just 5 of 15 field goal attempts (33.3%) in the second quarter while the Jazz was shooting at 57.1% clip. Sacramento had no Fast Break Points in the first half. It was just ugly.
The teams went to the locker rooms with the Jazz leading the Kings 66-41.
Hey, it was the back end of a back-to-back
Yes, the Kings were playing the second game of a back-to-back set on the road which means the odds were not in their favor. However, the Jazz (2-1) lost to the Lakers on the road on Friday night 95-86, so they were on the second game of a back-to-back as well.
Back-to-back games on the road are tough to win, but that is no excuse for the poor performance the Kings showed on Saturday night.
All Sacramento starters report to the bench
With 8:39 to go in the third quarter, Luke Walton pulled his starters off the floor. It was a coach waving the white flag. He took the opportunity to put in his reserves and get them some valuable playing time.
Utah top performers
- Bojan Bogdanovic scored a game-high 26 points in just over 24 minutes on the floor. He hit 10 of 18 shots from the floor including five 3-pointers.
- Donovan Mitchell added 15 points. He went a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the 3-point line.
- Mike Conley and Georges Niang scored 12 points each.
- As a team, the Jazz shot 56.4 % from the floor and 48.6% from downtown. They outrebounded the Kings 43-31.
Kings in the spotlight
- Dewayne Dedmon led the Kings in scoring with 11 points. He also added six rebounds.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic put up 10 points and dished out two assists.
- De’Aaron Fox scored nine points and distributed five dimes.
- The Kings shot just 37% from the field.
The Kings will have Sunday off and will return to play on Monday night when they will host the 2-0 Denver Nuggets at the Golden 1 Center.
The Jazz will travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns on Monday evening.