SACRAMENTO KINGS

Cooking With Keegan: Murray drops 47 points as Kings rout Jazz

Dec 16, 2023, 9:33 PM | Updated: Dec 17, 2023, 9:40 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 16: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings reacts as teamma...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

That just happened.

In one of the best offensive performances you will ever see from an individual, Keegan Murray had a historic night during the Sacramento Kings’ 125-104 win over the Utah Jazz at Golden 1 Center on Saturday night.

On a night that the Kings were without De’Aaron Fox as he rests his sore right shoulder, Murray shouldered the offensive load in a big way as the second-year forward racked up a career-high 47 points on a franchise-record-setting 12-of-15 shooting from three-point range.

Murray’s historic night was the driving force behind another win for Sacramento (15-9), who has won four of their past five games and improved to 2-0 during this six-game homestand.

Kings vs. Jazz Takeaways

The ‘Keegan Murray’ Game

Since he returned from a four-game absence due to lower back soreness, Keegan Murray has rediscovered the offensive component of his game.

After scoring 15 points or more in three straight games, one had to wonder how the second-year forward would respond to the absence of De’Aaron Fox (shoulder). While it wasn’t realistic to expect Murray to replicate Fox’s production, the Kings…

Wait. Murray did replicate Fox’s production–and then some.

That’s right. Murray exploded for 13 points in the second quarter, but that was just a warm-up as the forward scored 26 points during the third–the most points scored in a single quarter by any Sacramento King in franchise history.

Kings fans are scarred from watching Klay Thompson drop an NBA-record-setting 37 points during a single period back in 2015, but this time it was Murray making history, as he also broke the Kings’ franchise record for made three-point field goals in a single game (12) before the end of the third quarter.

It was a stunning scene at Golden 1 Center, as Murray could not be stopped during the third quarter. Not from three, not from inside the key, not from anywhere.

Murray went eight-of-nine from the field during the third, including an incredible seven-for-seven from downtown–another franchise record for made triples in a single quarter–as the 23-year-old matched the Jazz’s 26 points in the period on his own.

“It reminded me of last year or in college when I would get on a roll,” Murray said of his incredible quarter. “You kind of just black out for a little bit and it feels like everything you put up is going to go in.”

Entering Saturday night, Murray’s career-high was 30 points. By the end of the third, Murray had 45 points, topping teammate De’Aaron Fox’s career-high of 44 points through just three quarters and 29 minutes of action.

After scoring another basket in the fourth, Murray set his final line at 47 points on 16-of-23 shooting from the field, 12-of-15 from three-point range, eight rebounds, and two steals over 36 minutes of action.

The 47-point outing was the most from a Kings player since DeMarcus Cousins scored 55 points against the Portland Trail Blazers in 2016.

Murray became just the seventh player in NBA history to make 12 or more three-pointers, joining Klay Thompson (three times), Stephen Curry (twice), Damian Lillard, Zach LaVine, Kobe Bryant, and Donyell Marshall.

While it’s not fair to expect a 40-point outing from Murray on a nightly basis, Saturday’s game was an example of the forward’s impressive upside. After struggling out of the gates on the offensive end, the 47-point outing was somewhat of a release for Murray.

“From how I’ve been playing offensively this year, I feel like this game was a lot of emotions built into one,” Murray said postgame. “It’s just encouraging to me going into this season with how good I can be offensively in this league.”

The news of Murray’s record-setting performance reached those that have been there before him, as Curry shared his enthusiasm for Murray following Golden State’s win over Brooklyn:

In case you need a refresher, here are the Sacramento Kings records that Keegan Murray broke on Saturday night:

  • Points in a single quarter: 26 (passing Mitch Richmond, 25)
  • Three-point field goals made in a single quarter: 7 (passing Harrison Barnes and Omri Casspi, 6)
  • Made three-point field goals: 12 (passing Buddy Hield, 11)
  • Youngest player in NBA history to make 12+ triples in a single game: 23 years, 119 days (passing Kobe Bryant, 24)
  • First player in NBA history to make 11 straight triples

“Last year, he was strictly a three-point shooter. He’s scoring at the second and third levels now,” Kings head coach Mike Brown said of Murray’s performance. “Two, three, four years from now, woah. You’re going to really see something out of this young man. He’s just barely scratching the surface.”

It was a special night for Murray and the Kings, and a night that has fans wondering what last year’s fourth-overall pick can grow into if this type of play continues.

The Ox in the Middle

Domantas Sabonis quickly established himself in the paint as the center scored 10 points on five-of-five shooting during the first quarter to pad the Kings’ 20-6 advantage in the paint.

The All-Star center’s impressive night took a backrest to Murray’s incredible performance, but Sabonis racked up his 20th double-double of the season during a 20-point, 10-rebound, eight-assist outing on nine-of-ten shooting over 34 minutes.

The Sixth Man of the Year Push Continues

Malik Monk continues to prove why he deserves to be in the mix for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

Monk scored 18 points, grabbed four rebounds, and dished out eight assists over 26 minutes–the guard’s sixth-straight game with five or more assists, which is the longest such streak of his seven-year career.

The Kentucky product leads all NBA reserves in games with 10+ points and 5+ assists (11) and has been a force off the bench for a Kings team that is playing its best basketball of the season.

Monk has continued to showcase his playmaking ability, as he has passed out 124 assists over just 24 games this season, putting him on pace to break his career-high for assists in a season (298) sometime in the spring.

Notes

  • Sacramento shot 54% FG and 22/45 (49%) 3PT. They are now 14-1 when shooting ≥45% FG and 12-1 when shooting ≥35%  from 3PT
  • Utah entered play as the NBA’s leader in total rebounds, but the Kings matched the Jazz 37-37 in that department.
  • Last season, Sacramento first improved to six games over .500 on January 11th.
  • Keegan Murray has scored 20+ points in 17 games during his NBA career. The Kings are 16-1 in those games.

Injury Report

De’Aaron Fox (right shoulder irritation) did not suit up on Saturday. Fox is considered day-to-day.

Alex Len (right high ankle sprain) continues to work his way back to action and has been seen getting work in on the sides of practices with the Kings training staff. An update on Len’s status is expected during Sacramento’s six-game home stand.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will continue its six-game home stand on Monday night against a Washington Wizards team that will be on a back-to-back after facing Phoenix on Sunday.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Wizards coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from Golden 1 Center.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Monday, December 18th – Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, December 20th – Sacramento Kings vs. Boston Celtics – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, December 22nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, December 23rd – Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – 7:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, December 26th – Sacramento Kings @ Portland Trail Blazers – @ 7:00 PM PST

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