NBA

Kings vs Bucks Takeaways & Observations

Mar 16, 2022, 9:55 PM | Updated: Mar 18, 2022, 8:05 am
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks slam dunks over...
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

There were plenty of March Madness vibes during Wednesday night’s game

Even though the Sacramento Kings lost on Wednesday night, they delivered one of the most entertaining games of the season against the reigning champs.

The Kings showed plenty of hustle and fight all night, but what transpired during the closing stretch of the game was truly inspiring to watch.

Sacramento erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit with gritty play as they regained the lead with less than four minutes to go in regulation. Once the dust settled, the Bucks were able to hold off a pesky Kings team that just wouldn’t go away.

In the end, Milwaukee pulled out a 135-126 win at Golden 1 Center–their 12th-straight win over the Kings dating back to the 2015-16 regular season.

There were 18 lead changes during a back-and-forth affair that had shades of a March Madness game as those that were in attendance had the opportunity to watch one of the best Kings games of the season.

Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and All-Star forward Khris Middleton combined to score 68 points on Wednesday.

That’s going to be tough to beat no matter how you play.

That’s A Lot of Threes

The long-ball was flying early for Sacramento.

During the first two-quarters of play, the Kings hoisted 26 three-point field goal attempts, establishing a new season-high for three-point field goal attempts in a single half.

After starting off hot, the offense cooled off late in the second quarter as Sacramento ended the half nine-of-26 (34%) from three-point range.

Donte DiVincenzo drilled three attempts from beyond the arc in the first half, while Davion Mitchell also converted multiple triples as the Kings made it clear that they intended to do damage from beyond the arc.

Fox Struggles, Deals With Hand Injury

After scoring seven points, dishing out four assists, and swiping two steals in the first quarter, De’Aaron Fox appeared to be holding his hand at the beginning of the second period.

Fox remained in the game and failed to score on several possessions before being removed at the end of the quarter. The 24-year-old immediately went to the Kings locker room upon exiting the game just minutes before both teams entered the halftime break.

Following the break, the Kings announced that Fox would return for the second half.

Fox’s offense finally kicked into gear in the fourth quarter, but the guard seemed bothered by the hand issue. Over 37 minutes, Fox finished the night eight-of-23 from the field during a 21-point, seven-assist performance.

The turnovers came in bunches for Fox as he established a new career-high with nine turnovers during the losing effort.

Hello, Again

In his first game against his former team, Donte DiVincenzo showed up in a big way.

The 2020 champion scored 19 points (Kings career-high) on seven-of-14 shooting from the field and four-of-eight from three-point range while collecting three steals over 30 minutes of action.

After starting on Monday night, Alvin Gentry decided to move DiVincenzo back into a bench role on Wednesday as Justin Holiday returned from a one-game absence.

With 11 games remaining in the regular season, one has to wonder if it would be in the team’s best interest to let DiVincenzo play out the remainder of the season in the starting lineup.

Sacramento traded for the guard not once, but twice. Let’s see what he is fully capable of in a starting lineup with De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

“I think that is something that we will look at, and really thought about doing it tonight,” Gentry said postgame on moving DiVincenzo into the starting lineup. “There is a possibility that that can happen.”

Strong Night For The Rookie

Davion Mitchell had one of his best performances of the season on Wednesday night.

The rookie looked confident on the offensive end, scoring multiple buckets off of the dribble and on the attack as he went straight at Milwaukee Bucks defenders.

Mitchell scored 19 points on eight-of-13 shooting from the field while also handing out four assists over 30 minutes.

Fox Joins The 2k Club

Another night, another milestone for De’Aaron Fox.

The fifth-year guard dished out the 2,000th assist of his career on Wednesday night, becoming the first King to do so since Mike Bibby crossed the 2k mark during the 2006-07 season.

According to the Kings, Fox is the second-fastest Kings player to reach 2,000 assists in the Sacramento era. Spud Webb did so in 298 games versus Fox’s 322 games played.

Fox ranks 11th on the all-time franchise leader board and is fifth all-time in the Sacramento era (1985-present).

Double-Double For Trey

The legend of Trey Lyles continues to grow.

For the second-straight game, the veteran power forward turned in an impressive showing, posting his second double-double of the season and his first in a Kings uniform.

Lyles finished the night with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists over 33 minutes. Since being acquired from Detroit last month, the 26-year-old has flashed his floor-spacing skillset while hitting the glass as the Kings starting forward.

The recent play from Lyles has ignited interest in the possibility of a return in 2022-23 as general manager Monte McNair will have the choice this offseason of picking up the $2.6 million team option for next season.

The Celebs Were Out In…Sacramento…?

This might have been the most-interesting aspect of Wednesday night’s game.

Not only was former Kings center and general manager Vlade Divac in the house, but Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre and former UFC champion Chuck Liddell were also sitting court-side to take in the action.

My only question is…why?

Who knows.

Injury Updates

  • De’Aaron Fox (hand) is questionable for Friday’s game vs Boston. The guard injured his right hand during the second quarter of Wednesday’s game and was in clear discomfort for the remainder of the game.
  • Jeremy Lamb was unavailable on Wednesday night due to personal reasons and is also listed as out for Friday night vs Boston.
  • Terence Davisย will be re-evaluated in one month after undergoing successful surgery to repair a right wrist ECU tendon injury.

Coming Up

The tough home-stand will continue for the Kings on Friday night when they face a Boston Celtics team that has won seven of their past 10 games.

In the only meeting between the two teams this season, Sacramento suffered its worst–and quite frankly, most embarrassing–loss in over 30 years as the Celtics defeated the Kings by a final of 128-75 back on January 25th.

You can find all of your Kings vs Celtics coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 3:00 pm PST on The Nick Cattles Show before a 7:00 pm PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

  • March 18th vs Boston Celtics
  • March 20th vs Phoenix Suns
  • March 23rd @ Indiana Pacers
  • March 26th @ Orlando Magic
  • March 28th @ Miami Heat

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