SACRAMENTO KINGS

Burnt in South Beach: Kings have winning streak snapped by Heat

Jan 31, 2024, 7:08 PM | Updated: 7:12 pm

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 31: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings drives against Kevin Love...

(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Playing in Miami continues to be a nightmare for the Sacramento Kings.

Dating back to the 1988-89 season–the Miami Heat’s first NBA season–Sacramento now holds a 5-31 record in 36 meetings in South Beach following Wednesday’s 115-106 loss at Kaseya Center.

The Kings (27-19) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end against a Miami team that entered play having lost seven straight games–tied for the longest losing streak in the Erik Spoelstra era (2008-present).

Sacramento hasn’t won a game in Miami since October 29, 2018 (lost five straight).

Kings vs. Heat Takeaways

Murray & Sabonis vs. All

Sacramento couldn’t find the bottom of the net from deep during the first two quarters of Monday’s win over Memphis, and those first-half struggles carried into Wednesday’s action in Miami.

The Kings, who often live and die by the long ball, relied on a huge first half from Keegan Murray (21 points) to keep themselves afloat against an inspired Heat team that played with energy out of the gates.

Aside from Murray’s five-of-seven shooting from deep during the first half, the rest of Sacramento’s offense went one-of-13 (7%) from beyond the arc as Miami built an 18-point lead midway through the second quarter.

Thanks to an impressive start for Murray, who racked up 20+ points in a single half for the third time this season, the Kings answered back with a 24-10 run to end the half that trimmed the deficit to 59-55.

Along with Murray’s strong half, Domantas Sabonis aided Sacramento’s run with all nine of his first-half points to help his team punch back following a tough start.

The Kings continued to keep pace with Miami through the third quarter, but the Heat quickly jumped out to a double-digit lead during the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.

Once the Heat built a comfortable lead, they never looked back, as Sacramento was unable to get over the hump in crunch time.

Miami got timely shots from Josh Richardson, who erupted for a season-high 24 points on six-of-ten shooting from three-point range, and 31 points from All-Star forward Jimmy Butler, who went 10-of-14 from the field to help the Heat snap their losing streak.

Cold From Beyond The Arc

Outside of Keegan Murray’s big night, nobody else in a Kings jersey could find a rhythm from beyond the arc on Wednesday.

Murray scored 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field and seven-of-11 from three-point range, but outside of the sophomore’s red-hot performance, Sacramento fell flat from deep (5/29, 17%).

The Heat did a good job of taking Murray and the rest of the Kings’ three-point threats out of the game by going to a zone defense down the stretch, and with De’Aaron Fox struggling (13 points on 4/16 FG), Sacramento didn’t have many options to turn to as Miami stretched out its lead late.

It was a perfect storm of cold performances for the Kings, as Harrison Barnes (0/6 from three) and Malik Monk (six points over 14 minutes) could not provide Sacramento with a boost while Fox worked through his struggles.

Domantas Sabonis brushed off a rough start to finish the night with a league-leading 42nd (and 29th consecutive) double-double, as well as his 13th triple-double during the loss, as the All-Star scored 19 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, and passed out 13 assists.

Murray, Sabonis, and Kevin Huerter (14 points) were the only Kings that made significant contributions on offense for Sacramento, while Miami became the latest team to catch fire from beyond the arc against the ‘Beam Team.’

The Heat finished the night 13-of-28 (46%) from three-point range as Miami continued to take advantage of the Kings’ poor defensive rotations.

Three-point shooting looms large in this loss because Sacramento won the battle of the paint, outscored the Heat in second-chance points and fast-break points–but in the end, it didn’t matter.

The Kings are 3-8 when shooting 30 percent or worse from three-point land, and Wednesday’s loss was another reminder that this team needs a plan for when the shots stop falling.

Notes

  • De’Aaron Fox set a new career-high for three-point field goals made in a single season with 120, and he did it over just 40 games. Last season, Fox made 119 triples over 73 games.
  • Domantas Sabonis’s 29th straight double-double has tied Oscar Robertson (12/6/61-1/30/62) for the longest double-double streak during a single season in franchise history.
  • The Kings lost the battle of bench scoring 47-18.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento’s seven-game road trip will continue on Friday night as De’Aaron Fox will come face-to-face with former teammate Tyrese Haliburton and the Indiana Pacers.

On January 18th, a Haliburton-less Pacers team defeated the Kings by a final of 126-121 at Golden 1 Center. Star forward Pascal Siakam was also inactive for Indiana, meaning Sacramento will have its hands even more full this time around.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Pacers coverage, beginning at 3:00 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:30 PM PST tip-off from Indianapolis.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, February 2nd – Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers – 4:30 PM PST
  • Saturday, February 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Chicago Bulls – 5:00 PM PST
  • Monday, February 5th – Sacramento Kings @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 4:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, February 7th – Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, February 9th – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST

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