Analyzing the Sacramento Kings costly 21 turnovers in loss to Charlotte

Jan 3, 2024, 1:56 PM

De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings competes for a loose ball against Cody Martin #11 and Nick ...

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 02: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings competes for a loose ball against Cody Martin #11 and Nick Richards #4 of the Charlotte Hornets in the fourth quarter at Golden 1 Center on January 02, 2024 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Charlotte Hornets came into Golden 1 Center Tuesday night and handed the Sacramento Kings their first loss of 2024, snapping an 11-game losing streak. Yet, while the opposition deserves credit for capitalizing, most of the shortcomings were what the Kings like to call ‘controllables’.

Going 10/17 from the free-throw line in a narrow 111-104 loss hurts, especially paired with the fact that Sacramento sits dead last (73.2 percent) in conversion rate on those attempts.

But, it was their costly 21 turnovers that did a majority of their self-inflicted damage. That ties their season-high in giveaways and Charlotte managed 17 points following those mistakes. It made the game simpler for the opposition and complicated their typically high-caliber offense.

It was the first thing Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown mentioned in his postgame opening statement.

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 “I didn’t think we performed to our level of ability,” he said. “The first thing that jumps out to me is our 21 turnovers. You have 21 turnovers in a game where all of them probably were unforced. Literally, we just  — I don’t know, just couldn’t hold onto the ball.”

Looking back at the mishaps, there were a handful of offensive fouls and moments of poor footwork, leading to moving screens and travels. It’s a prime example of the ‘controllables’ that the team expressed frustration with after the final whistle.

Additionally, there was an excessive amount of lazy and/or off-target, undisciplined pass attempts. Some of the below moments are due to that, while others could be credited to poor hands — plenty from Domantas Sabonis, who tallied a career-high 11 turnovers.

“I don’t personally know how to explain it,” Sabonis said. “I personally didn’t catch many balls myself and then probably had like five offensive fouls, those are turnovers that didn’t help. I felt like we did play a good defensive game. We just couldn’t convert when we really needed to extend that lead.”

Finally, the last standout category of turnovers was as simple as dribbling into traffic and losing control of the handle.

Blunders happen, but after six highly encouraging quarters, their stellar second half against the Atlanta Hawks, and their well-rounded performance against the Memphis Grizzlies on Near Year’s Eve, their positive momentum has temporarily been slowed.

“Honestly, I think we just gave the ball away,” De’Aaron Fox said. “I don’t think they did anything that really just made us turn the ball over. I think we were just too careless with the ball in our hands.”

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The Sacramento Kings must clean up the details and handle the ‘controllables.’ Luckily, there’s little time to let this loss settle. Although the Kings are 0-4 on the second night of back-to-backs up to this point, their looming matchup against Orlando allows an opportunity to wipe away the taste of Tuesday night’s loss.

“At the end of the day, you soak in a loss like this, and it can pile onto six losses in a row,” Fox said. “So, for me personally, when I walk about this building, I’m not thinking about this game again. I think it’s to each their own on a subject like that, but for me personally, once I walk out of there – I mean, we have another game tomorrow. We’re playing against a good Orlando team, so what am I thinking about this game for?”

That being said, a loss could add to the current question marks. Taking care of business against the 19-14 Orlando Magic on Wednesday night is a needed opportunity for Sacramento.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Wednesday, January 3rd – Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, January 5th – Sacramento Kings vs. Toronto Raptors – 7:00 PM PST
  • Sunday, January 7th – Sacramento Kings vs. New Orleans Pelicans – 3:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, January 9th – Sacramento Kings @ Detroit Pistons – 4:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, January 10th – Sacramento Kings @ Charlotte Hornets – 4:00 PM PST

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