By Charlie O. Mallonee
SACRAMENTO — The Sacramento Kings won their 39th game of the 2018-19 season on Thursday night as they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-104. It was not an easy win. The Kings had to earn this victory. The Cavs are not a great team, but they are professional basketball players who belong on an NBA court.
The Cavs may have never held the lead in the game, but they did cut the Kings’ lead to just one point with 4:40 to go in the third quarter. Sacramento was able to make a surge in order to take a nine-point lead into the final period.
The Cavs reduced the Kings lead to just six points at the 8:03 mark in the fourth quarter, but Sacramento with the help of Marvin Bagley III and Bogdan Bogdanovic opened up a lead that would never put them in danger of losing the game again.
With the win, the Kings sweep the season series from the Cavaliers who drop to 19-60 for the campaign.
SAC is one game away from winning 40
Some fans have asked — is winning 40 a big deal? Yes, it is. The Kings won 27 games last season. Most analysts projected them win between 30-35 games this season (this reporter projected them to win 32). To improve their win-loss record by 13 wins and climb into the 40-wins stratosphere is psychologically a big deal for a young team.
As a Western Conference team, the Kings will have to win 45-47 games next season just to make it into the playoffs. If they can win 40 games, they will know what it takes to get where they need to be in order to reach the next level.
This team has already has recorded the best win total for a Kings deal team since the 2005-06 season. Winning game number 40 would make them the first Sacramento team to win at least 40 games since that 2005-06 team won 44 games.
Dave Joerger postgame thoughts
- Thought it was a good win
- Getting to 40 wins is a big deal
- Tonight, it didn’t feel like we made a lot of shots; they did make a lot of shots
- Out defensive activity was good — steals, deflections forced 22 turnovers
- We took care of the ball — seven turnovers that resulted in just eight points
- We scored points in the paint which was huge for us (SAC 62 CLE 54)
- When we moved the ball and we got in the paint, we were more successful
- Buddy Hield was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points shooting 9-for-16 from the field. He hit 5-of-11 from downtown. Hield needs just six 3-point baskets to beat Damian Lillard’s record of 599 three-pointers in the first three seasons of a players career.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic had a strong game coming off the bench to score 18 points in just over 27 minutes of playing time. “Bogi” shot 7-for-13 from the floor including four 3-point baskets. He also dished out five assists. Bogdanovic seemed to play with more energy than he has in some time.
- De’Aaron Fox bounced back nicely after having a disappointing game versus the Rockets. Fox recorded a double-double scoring 16 points and distributing 10 dimes.
- Marvin Bagley III played only 20 minutes, but he made the most of his time on the floor. MB35 put up 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. His play was very important to the Kings opening up their lead in the fourth quarter.
- Odd facts: the Kings were outrebounded by the Cavs 50-36 in this game. The Kings made 12 steals while the Cavaliers managed only three steals. Sacramento only turned the ball over seven times while Cleveland turned over 22 times.
- Jordan Clarkson was the Cavs leading scorer with 22 points. Clarkson came off the bench to play just over 31 minutes and shoot 9-for-13 from the field.
- Point guard Colin Sexton was very impressive in almost 38 minutes on the floor. For a player who is not supposed to shoot well, he was very impressive as a shooter. Sexton hit 8-of-14 shots overall and 3-of-5 from 3-point land.
- Second-year player Cedi Osman recorded 17 points and three assists. He was key to the Cavs first half performance.
- Cleveland shot 54.3-percent (44/81) for the game and hit 11-of-25 (44%) 3-point attempts.
The Kings left immediately after the game for Salt Lake City where they will play the Jazz on Friday night.
The Cavaliers boarded their buses and headed for the Bay Area where they will face the Golden State Warriors tomorrow night.