Embiid goes off as the Sixers beat the Kings 97-91

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Photo: @Philadelphia 76ers

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings wrapped up their four-game road trip in Philadelphia on Wednesday on a “low note”. The 76ers Joel Embiid exploded for a game-high 33 points and 16 rebounds to lead his team to a 97-91 victory.

Embiid really was in need of a good game after being held scoreless in his team’s loss to the Raptors on Monday night. Embiid said he didn’t feel any pressure to have a “statement game”, but he was happy his team came away with the “W”.

3rd Quarter letdown

After trailing by just one point at halftime, the Kings put themselves in a great position to steal this game on the road. After starting a bit slow in the third period, Sacramento came alive and kept the score close until midway through the quarter.

The Kings went into a 3:04 scoring drought at the end of the third quarter which allowed the Sixers to outscore them 29-19. Philly led 76-65 after 36 minutes of play and the Kings would never be able to catch up.

SAC outscored the 76ers in the final quarter but it was too little too late. The Sixers (12-6) won the game 97-91.

Spotlight on the Kings

Looking at the final box score there is one glaring stat that jumps off the page. The Kings (7-10) went to the free throw line only nine times on Wednesday night and converted just four of those opportunities. An NBA team is not going to win a game going to the charity stripe just nine times.

To give you a comparison, the 76ers went to the line 24 times in the game – a very acceptable number. They went 20-for-24 (83.3%) from the stripe which helped them to win the game.

Ironically, the Kings outscored the Sixers in the paint 40-38 even though they were facing Embiid, Al Horford and Tobias Harris.

The biggest lead for Sacramento in the game for SAC was one point. The 76ers held a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter.

The Kings also had a tough night from “downtown”. They shot just 9-for-34 (26.5%) from beyond the 3-point line.

Sacramento scoring:

  • Buddy Hield was the team’s high scorer putting 22 points in the book. He had a tough night shooting going 9-for-24 overall and 3-for-12 from 3-point land.
  • Dewayne Dedmon came off the bench to put up 18 points and grab six rebounds.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic added 17 points hitting 7 of 15 shots.
  • Harrison Barnes scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Focus on the Sixers

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Embiid had a big game @ Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers blocked 10 Kings shots in the game while SAC blocked just three of the Sixers shots.

Philly scoring:

  • Matisse Thybulle came off the bench to score 15 points. He went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and hit 3 of 3 from behind the 3-point line.
  • Forward Tobias Harris scored 14 points.
  • The veteran Al Horford scored 12 points and hauled in seven rebounds.
  • Point guard Ben Simmons recorded a double-double putting up 10 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

Up next

The Kings return home and will host the Denver Nuggets on Saturday afternoon at the Golden 1 Center.

The Sixers will face the Knicks on Friday night at the Garden.

No brotherly love in Philly: Sixers beat the Kings 123-114 on Friday night

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Photo/Graphic: @NBCS

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The road to the NBA Playoffs just became a long, uphill battle for the Sacramento Kings after they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 123-114 on Friday night to wrap up a four-game road trip. The Kings will return home having won just one of those four games. At a bare minimum, Sacramento needed to go 2-2 on the trip.

Sacramento is now two games under .500 with a record of 33-35. The team is 3-7 over their last 10 and has lost three consecutive games. The Kings are mired in ninth-place in the Western Conference 6.0 games behind the LA Clippers and Utah Jazz who are tied for seventh-place. With just 14 games remaining in the season, time is running out for the Kings unless they can go on an incredible multiple game winning streak.

The Kings played better basketball on Friday than they did on Thursday night in Boston. They improved their performances from the free throw line and from behind the 3-point line. Sacramento took care of the ball turning it over just nine times.

It is not often that a team improves its play in the second game of a back-to-back set on the road.

Why did the Kings lose?

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Photo: @NBCS
  1. They played a better team. The Philadelphia 76ers are a talented team that should go deep into the Eastern Conference Playoffs. All five of the Sixers starters scored in double figures with Ben Simmons being the low scorer with 18 points.
  2. The Sixers shot 50.5-percent from the field. It is very difficult to win when your opponent shoots over 50-percent for the contest.
  3. Philadelphia won the battle at the free throw line converting 24-of-27 (88.9%) opportunities. It does need to be noted that the Kings dramatically improved their free throw shooting performance over Thursday night by sinking 19-of-24 (79.2%) of their chances from the charity stripe.

Kings top performers

  • Marvin Bagley III was not the Kings leading scorer, but he did score 15 points in just over 20 minutes of playing time. His playing time is being limited after missing five games from suffering a knee sprain. Dave Joerger said after the game that he hated to take him out, but he knows there is no reason to risk rushing MB35 back into longer minutes.
  • Harrison Barnes continues to show why the Kings would like him to exercise his player option on his 2019-20 contract or request to talk to management about long-term options. Barnes recorded 16 points, six rebounds and three assists versus the Sixers.
  • Harry Giles III put up 12 points in just over 18 minutes on the floor. H20 shot 6-for-9 from the field and pulled down four rebounds. He also dished out four assists.
  • Other contributors: De’Aaron Fox 16 points, Buddy Hield 14, Willie Cauley-Stein 13 points and seven rebounds.

Philadelphia performers

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Photo: @NBCS
  • Jimmy Butler was the leading scorer in the game with 22 points. He also added seven assists and six rebounds.
  • Joel Embiid put a double-double in the book scoring 21 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. He is just a force on the defensive glass.
  • Tobias Harris continues to show why the Sixers made a trade to get him as he scored 19, made seven rebounds and distributed four assists.
  • JJ Redick put 19 up on the board. Redick went 4-for-9 from downtown.

Up next

The Kings traveled back to Sacramento after the game and will have Saturday off. Sacramento returns to action on Sunday at 3:00 PM when they will host the Chicago Bulls at the Golden 1 Center.

The Sixers head out on the road and will have to face the “Greek Freak” and company in Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon.

 

Kings-76ers Monday night post game wrap: Kings hold on to win 102-100

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Cousins goes to the rack Photo: NBAE

By Tony Renteria

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The game between the Sixers and Kings came down to free throws on Monday night as Sacramento won their fourth consecutive game 102-100.

Garrett Temple put the Kings up by three points with 14.9-seconds to go when he hit 1-of-2 free throws. Philly’s Sergio Rodriguez answered back with a 25-foot 3-point shot that cut the Kings lead to just one point. Robert Covington fouled Cousins with 5.9-seconds remaining in the game. The Kings big man converted 1-of-2 foul shots allowing the Kings to take a 102-100 lead. The Sixers Joel Embiid missed two 3-point shots in those final seconds and the Kings held on for the victory.

The Kings had to outscore Philadelphia 32-23 in the final period to win the contest. The Sixers held a 77-70 lead after three quarters.

The Sacramento Kings record improved to 14-17 with the victory while Philadelphia dropped to 7-23 after the loss. Sacramento holds on to eighth place in the Western Conference with a one-game lead over ninth place Denver and a two-game lead over 10th place Portland – the Kings next opponent.

With 31 games under their belt this season, the Kings just need three wins to get to .500. First-year head coach Dave Joerger continues to focus on defense and finding the right combination of players to put on the floor.

DeMarcus Cousins again led the team in scoring with 30 points on 10-of-20 shooting, while also adding nine rebounds.  Rudy Gay returned to the Kings lineup after missing six games with a hip flexor. He made his presence known chipping in 17 points himself. Gay’s return did create a significant change in the Kings player rotation.

Ty Lawson was again a major factor off the bench for Sacramento on Monday night. He scored 12 points, grabbed four rebounds (three offensive), dished out four assists and had two steals in 20-minutes of playing time. Willie Cauley-Stein played significant minutes especially in the third quarter when Kosta Koufos experienced foul trouble. Cauley-Stein went into the game to help defend Embiid and wound up scoring nine points and pulled down four rebounds.

The Kings won the battle in the paint outscoring the Sixers 52-46 down low. Sacramento also out-rebounded Philly 42-38. The Kings had 24 assists but they turned the ball over 19 times which resulted in 24 points for Philadelphia.

The 76ers were led by Joel Embiid and his 25 points and eight rebounds. Sergio Rodriguez also added 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Jahlil Okafor played 19-minutes at center scoring six points and posting one rebound. Disgruntled big man Nerlens Noel received just three-minutes on the floor and scored three points for his team.

Former King Nick Stauskas never really got going in the game. He played just 19-minutes scoring four points shooting just 2-for-4 from the floor. Stauskas is actually having his best year in the NBA upping his scoring average to 9.5 points per game which is a 2.6 point improvement over his career average of 6.9 points per game.

The 76ers head to Utah to play the Jazz Thursday, while the Kings will travel to Portland play the Trail Blazers Wednesday. The Kings are 1-1 versus the Trail Blazers this season. Each team has won on their home court. DeMarcus Cousins scored 55 points in Kings 126-121 victory over Portland at the Golden 1 Center. The game on Wednesday night will be the final meeting of the season between the two teams.