Kings vs Rockets Reaction & Takeaways – March 30, 2022

Mar 30, 2022, 8:02 PM | Updated: 8:05 pm
HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 30: Davion Mitchell #15 of the Sacramento Kings shoots a three-point shot over ...
(Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

In a game that went down to the wire, Davion Mitchell’s defense came up big late

If you watched the entirety of Wednesday’s game between the Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets, you witnessed quite the rollercoaster of a basketball game.

Defense wasn’t much of a priority in this one until the final minutes of the game, as Davion Mitchell came up big when his team needed him the most.

Taking charges, on-ball defense, and an electrifying final defensive possession from the Kings rookie would be crucial during a narrow 121-118 win by Sacramento at Toyota Center.

Wednesday’s win was the Kings’ first win in Houston since December 9, 2019–the Nemanja Bjelica buzzer-beater game.

Look, this game wasn’t pretty.

It was a tough watch for most of the game as each team acted as a revolving door on defense for the first three-quarters of play, as the score was 104-103 entering the fourth.

Although there were what felt like 20 stoppages for review over the final five minutes, the fourth quarter saw each team turn up the defensive intensity as Sacramento and Houston combined for just 32 points in the final period.

This game wasn’t a perfect one by any means–but in the end, watching players like Davion Mitchell and Damian Jones have big nights made this win a little easier to digest.

Following the win, the Kings (28-49) dropped to seventh in the NBA Draft Lottery standings with five games to go in the regular season.

The Rookie Is Cooking

Davion Mitchell’s stock is bursting through the roof right now.

The ninth-overall pick from last summer’s draft put on another show during Wednesday’s win in Houston, scoring 24 points (11-of-22 shooting) while pulling down five rebounds and handing out eight assists over 39 minutes.

With each passing game, Mitchell seems to accomplish another historical milestone.

Not only is the 23-year-old the only Kings rookie in the Sacramento era (1985-present) to post 20+ points and 7+ assists in five-straight games, he is just the second rookie to do so period since the beginning of the 2000-01 season:

Trey’s From Trey

By each passing game, this offseason’s question of whether or not general manager Monte McNair will pick up Trey Lyles’ $2.6 million get’s more and more intersting.

Lyles continued to play well in the starting power forward role, scoring 16 points (13 in the second quarter) on a perfect four-of-four shooting from beyond the arc during the first half alone.

Over 37 minutes of play, the 26-year-old finished with 24 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in the winning effort.

Sacramento could use more veterans like Trey Lyles.

If Monte McNair wants to upgrade the starting power forward position, that is not going to be frowned upon. What will be frowned upon, in my opinion, would be if McNair were to decline $2.6 million option on a player like Lyles.

Lyles can space the floor, provide the team with minutes in a starting or reserve role and he brings winning experience to a young, inexperienced Kings team.

I’m all for Sacramento bringing Lyles back in 2022-23.

Davion Collects A Poster

The rookie finally got one.

We’ve seen Davion Mitchell go up for some big dunk attempts this season, but the rookie finally got the poster that he has been seeking–and it was quite the poster, at that.

During the first quarter on Wednesday night, Mitchell added a dunk to his highlight reel that could be up there among the team’s best of the season.

With the way that Mitchell has been playing over the past week, is anyone really surprised?

D-Jones Is Playing For The Future

Since being inserted into the starting lineup on March 23rd, Damian Jones has been playing like he has something to prove.

If it appears that Jones is playing to prove himself, it’s because he is: the 26-year-old will enter unrestricted free agency this summer.

Jones turned in another strong showing on Wednesday, finishing the night with a career-high 24 points on nine-of-13 shooting from the field to go along with nine rebounds, five assists, and four blocks over 34 minutes.

17 of Jones’ points came during the first half as the two-time NBA champion helped pace a massive Kings run to help erase an early 14-point deficit.

In four games since being tabbed as the starting center, Jones is averaging 15.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game on 72-percent shooting from the field.

Injury Updates

  • Jeremy Lamb (right hamstring soreness) exited Monday’s game in Miami due to hamstring soreness and did not play on Wednesday. Lamb is considered day-to-day.
  • Alex Len and Josh Jackson were inactive for the second-straight game. Both players are considered day-to-day.
  • De’Aaron Fox (hand soreness) has not played since injuring his right hand on March 16th vs Milwaukee. Alvin Gentry told The Nick Cattles Show on Friday that Fox’s hand is still “blue around the palm” and added that the team will not rush the guard back into action this season.
  • Domantas Sabonis (left knee bruise) will be reevaluated once the team returns from their five-game road trip. Sabonis suffered no structural damage to his left knee and is expected to make a full recovery. More on Sabonis here.
  • Richaun Holmes will miss the remainder of the season due to personal reasons. More on Holmes here.
  • Terence Davis will be re-evaluated at the end of the season after undergoing successful surgery to repair a right wrist ECU tendon injury.

Coming Up

The Kings and Rockets will have a do-over on Friday afternoon at Toyota Center as Sacramento will cap off a five-game road trip before heading back home to play its final two home games of the season.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Rockets coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 3:00 pm PST on The Nick Cattles Show before a 5:00 pm PST tip-off from downtown Houston.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

  • April 1st @ Houston Rockets
  • April 3rd vs Golden State Warriors
  • April 5th vs New Orleans Pelicans (Final home game of the season)
  • April 9th @ Los Angeles Clippers
  • April 10th @ Phoenix Suns (Final game of season)


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