Photo credit: @KnicksNationCP
By Jeremiah Salmonson
The Sacramento Kings are flying. After taking down formidable opponents in Texas in the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, the Kings came home and defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder. So, the Kings were coming off a three-game win streak and facing the dysfunctional New York Knicks in Golden 1 Center on Wednesday night.
In the first quarter, the Kings did what they should have. Behind the scoring from Buddy Hield (14) and Nemanja Bjelica (6), the Kings jumped out to an early 32-20 lead over the Knicks. The Knicks leading scorer was Julius Randle, who managed to score 9 points. The Kings managed to shoot 71.4% from downtown and that played a big role in the early lead. Going into the second quarter, the Kings had a comfortable 32-20 lead.
In the second quarter, the Knicks made a little run at the Kings’ lead. Thanks to more scoring from Julius Randle, the Knicks put a dent in the Kings’ 12-point first-quarter lead. The Knicks put up 25 second quarter points to make it a 54-45. Buddy Hield continued to torch the Knicks and finished the first half with 22 points. Nemanja Bjelica followed behind Hield as the King’s second-leading scorer with 9 points. The Knicks were led by Julius Randle who was the game’s second-leading scorer with 17 first-half points. The Kings didn’t play their best first half of the year, but considering the opponent, it got the job done. In the second half, the Kings would look to put away the worst team in the NBA.
The third quarter was not the best for the Kings. Playing against the worst team in the NBA, the Kings were unable to increase their lead. In fact, their lead decreased by one point in the quarter as the Knicks outscored the Kings 27-26 in the third. Buddy Hield added 5 points to his total in the third to bring his total to 27 on the night. Julius Randal continued his hot hand in the game to give him 22 on the night. The Kings would take a 80-72 lead into the final quarter of action.
In the fourth quarter, things got a little dicey for the Kings. The Knicks, the worst team in the NBA, managed to make up the deficit coming into the quarter and tie the game at 93 with 5:15 remaining in the game. The Kings had to get back to work if they wanted to keep their win streak alive. Unfortunately for Kings fans, they weren’t able to do that. The Knicks came roaring back in the fourth to beat the Kings.
It was easily the worst loss of the season for the Kings, who should have defeated the Knicks. Julius Randal led the victorious Knicks with 24 points followed by Elfrid Payton with 16. Leading the Kings in defeat was Buddy Hield with 34 points followed by Harrison Barnes with 15. The Kings and Luke Walton will remember this loss. In a game against the worst team in the NBA the Kings couldn’t hold an 8 point lead going into the final quarter. The final in Sacramento was the Kings 101 and the Knicks 103.
Up Next: The Kings travel to San Francisco to play the Warriors on Sunday evening at 5:30 pm PST.
The Knicks stay West and play the Denver Nuggets on Sunday at 7 pm CST.