Kings fall to Knicks 140-121, lose 9th straight game

Photo credit: reuters.com

By: Jeremiah Salmonson

The Sacramento Kings are floundering around like a dying duck. The Kings had an off day on Wednesday as they prepared to take on the upstart New York Knicks on Thursday night. The Kings came into Thursday on an eight-game losing streak. They lost to the Brooklyn Nets in their previous game. On Tuesday, the Kings lost to the Knicks in blowout fashion 140-121 at Madison Square Garden.

The Kings weren’t able to snap the streak against maybe the best team in the NBA. The Kings were set to play at 4:30 PM PST at Madison Square Garden. 

In the first half, the Kings played terribly. In the first quarter, the Kings allowed the last ranked offense in the NBA to score 38 points. The Kings offense was able to put up 29 points, but it was not enough to outpace the Knicks. In the second quarter, it was more of the same. The Knicks added another 39 points in the quarter and managed to score 33 themselves. Even though the Kings managed to score 60 first half points, they still went into halftime losing 77-60. It would take a miracle in the second half to snap the losing streak. 

The second half started better than the first. In the third quarter, the Kings held the Knicks to 24 points and scored 32 themselves. It looked like the beginning of a comeback. However, it didn’t last long. The Kings allowed the Knicks to score 39 points in the fourth as the Kings only managed 27 points. The Kings would lose their ninth game in a row 140-121 to the Knicks.

The Kings were led by De’Aaron Fox, who managed to score 29 points. Immanuel Quickley led the Knicks with scored 25 points and Alex Burks scored 19 points in the fourth quarter. It was an embarrassing loss for the Kings as they will have to look to their game on Friday to right the ship. 

Up Next: The Kings have a back to back game against the Detroit Pistons in Detroit on Friday at 5 PM PST. 

Kings down the Knicks 113-92 in the Garden

NYC Fox
Fox to the bucket Photo: @SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings took the opportunity to build off their first win on Friday night to put victory number two in the book by crushing the New York Knicks 113-92 on Sunday night in the Garden. Teams traveling to the East Coast from the West can sometimes suffer from fatigue and time disorientation in their first game of a road trip. That did not happen on Sunday night.

Fast start in Manhattan
The lead changed hands three times in the first quarter of the game. The third lead change came with 7:51 to go in the period. The Kings took a 10-9 lead off a Harrison Barnes finger-roll layup. Sacramento would never trail again in the game.

The Kings shot 52.2% from the floor in the first quarter and put in 5 of 12 attempts from behind the 3-point arc. When the buzzer sounded after the first 12-minutes were over, Sacramento held a 32-23 lead over the home team.

No let-up in the 2nd quarter
The Kings kept the pressure on the Knicks in the second period by continuing to shoot well and by playing tenacious defense. Sacramento made good on 11 of their 19 Field Goal Attempts (57.9%), hit 3 of 6 (50.0%) from downtown and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

The Kings defense held the Knicks to just 28.6% (6-for-21) shooting and limited New York to just 2 of 10 from 3-point range.

The Kings held a 61-41 lead at the half.

What would happen in the third quarter?
The Kings had not outscored an opponent in the third quarter of any of their previous six games. That had led to their demise in every contest except on Friday night versus Utah.

That all changed on Sunday night in NYC. The Kings outscored the Knicks 29-23 and broke the third quarter curse that seemed like it would never go away.

Again, it was a combination of good shooting and a strong defense that did the in the job for the Kings. One example of the defense is the fact New York went 0-for-7 from “downtown” in the period. Sacramento was up 90-64 after 36 minutes of play.

The Knicks didn’t roll over and play dead
Every player in the NBA is a proud professional. They all want to win and every one of them hates to lose. The Knicks tried to make the game competitive in the last period.

Kings head coach Luke Walton had to leave his starters in for over half the quarter because the pesky Knicks would not go away. It was a tremendous “chase-down” block that ended the New York comeback run.

The Kings won their second game of the season 113-92. Sacramento is 2-5 while New York drops to 1-6 on the young campaign.

Postgame thoughts
Kings head coach Luke Walton had a number of thoughts after the win:

  • Walton said he told his team this game would set the tone for the road trip.
  • He said the key to the victory was the reduced number of turnovers and competition for rebounds. The Kings turned the ball over just 13 times and outrebounded New York 49-39.
  • Walton was happy that his team won the 3rd quarter but emphasized the team did not talk about the problem during halftime of the last two games – both victories.
  • He also mentioned a sitdown that he and De’Aaron Fox had on the plane just to review video clips and plays. Fox scored a team-high 24 points and dished out six assists in the win. That was some productive coach-player time.
  • When asked by a New York reporter about the playoffs, Walton replied that he’s not worried about the playoffs. He said he is interested in getting better every day.

Top performances

  • All of the Kings starting five scored in double figures.
  • Richaun Holmes had another double-double game scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds (four off the offensive glass).
  • Buddy Hield found the bucket again. He put 22 points in the book shooting 8-for-16 overall and hitting 5 of 11 from long range.
  • Harrison Barnes enjoyed his night in the Garden putting up 19 points.
  • Nemanja Bjelica recorded 10 points, made eight rebounds and distributed six assists in his 24-minutes on the floor.
  • The Knicks were led by Marcus Morris Sr. with a game-high 28 points and rookie RJ Barrett who added 22 points in 40-plus minutes of playing time.

Up next
The Kings head up “North” to face the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. The Raptors will be much tougher competition, but the Kings have won in Exposition City before.

The Knicks will also return to action on Wednesday night when they travel to Detroit.