Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) is on the move against Sacramento Kings guard Matisse Thybulle (22) at the Golden One Center in Sacramento on Mon Nov 22, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jeremiah Salmonson
SACRAMENTO–The Sacramento Kings (6-12) were back in action on Monday night. The Kings, fresh off the dismissal of head coach Luke Walton were set to take on the Philadelphia 76ers (10-8). In case you missed the news, the Kings fired head coach Luke Walton on Sunday. After careful consideration, Kings GM Monte Mcnair decided to fire the coach of the Kings after two-plus seasons at the helm. Walton had a turbulent tenure in Sacramento.
Former Kings GM Vlade Divac hired Walton to replace Dave Joerger in a surprise move two seasons ago. With current GM Monte McNair in place, you had to feel it almost inevitable that the Kings would make a head coaching change. Especially with the Kings struggling.
Alvin Gentry replaced Luke Walton as interim head coach. The transition should be simple for Gentry as he was already on the Kings bench as an assistant and is a veteran head coach in the NBA. On Monday night, the Kings succumbed to the 76ers 102-94 at home.
Monday Night Recap: The Kings welcomed the Philadelphia 76ers into Golden One Center on Monday at 7 PM PST.In the first half, the Kings and 76ers went back and forth. Neither team delivered a dominant performance in the first half of play.
The Kings shot 43.6% from the field in the first half as they tallied a 33.3% from deep. The 76ers shot 45.5% from the field and managed 37.5% from behind the arc. The 7ers shot slightly better than the Kings, but it wasn’t enough to pull away much from the Kings.
The Kings were outscored by the 76ers 55-52 in the first half as they played their first game in recent memory without Luke Walton. The Kings would have some work to do in the second half if they wanted to take down the 76ers.
Buddy Hield led the way for the Kings in the first half, who scored 16 points, 14 of which came in the first quarter. Tyrese Maxey scored 12 points in the first half to help put the 76ers in the lead going into the half.
In the second half, there was hope the Kings could come out with the victory. However, a win wasn’t in the cards for the Kings after the final buzzer sounded. Nevertheless, the Kings did put up a fight. The Kings hung tough until the last minutes of the game when the 76ers began to pull away.
The Kings outscored the 76ers in the third quarter 30-22 as the Kings mounted a rally. However, the Kings faltered down the stretch in the fourth quarter. The 76ers outscored the anemic Kings offense in the final quarter 25-12 to take home the victory 102-94.
It wasn’t a pretty ending for the Kings as they couldn’t make shots in the fourth quarter to save their lives. Another glaring weakness for the Kings late with the mismatch of Richaun Holmes and Andre Drummond.
Drummond amassed 23 rebounds in the game compared to Holmes, who had eight. Leading the way for the Kings in defeat was De’Aaron Fox, who scored 23 points on 7-15 shooting. Tyrese Maxey led the 76ers in scoring with 24 points on 8-22 shooting.
On Monday night, the Kings had a new head coach but the same old issues on the court. Only time will tell if the coaching change will improve the Kings in the long term. The Kings fell to 6-12 on the season.
Up Next: The Kings stay home to take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday at 7 PM PST in Sacramento.