NBA

DeRozan, White Torch Kings In Final Game Before All-Star Break

Feb 16, 2022, 7:56 PM | Updated: Feb 17, 2022, 8:25 am
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 16: Sacramento Kings Guard Justin Holiday (9) guards Chicago Bulls guard Cob...
(Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

MVP candidate DeMar DeRozan & Coby White combined to drop 69 points on Wednesday night

It seemed as if a lot of things were going right for the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night—but more things were going right for DeMar DeRozan and Coby White.

The Chicago Bulls duo took turns picking apart the Kings defense all game long as Sacramento fell short by a final of 125-118 at United Center.

Sacramento (22-38) is now a full three games back of the 10th-seed spot in the Western Conference standings as the team will head into a week-long break as the NBA gets set to begin All-Star Weekend festivities.

De’Aaron Fox started this one off with a bang as the speedy guard exploded for 14 points (six-of-eight shooting from the field and two-of-three from three-point range) during the first quarter.

The Kings used strong starts from Fox and Domantas Sabonis to keep pace with Chicago as the Bulls took a 33-30 lead into the second period.

All-Star forward DeMar DeRozan’s impressive season continued on Wednesday as the veteran’s 14 first-half points countered Fox’s big half to keep his team in front of the Kings at the break. It was a high-scoring affair in the first half as Chicago led 65-49 after 24 minutes of play.

For what seemed like the entirety of the third quarter, the Kings erased multiple-possession deficits over and over just to let Chicago immediately go on another seven-to-nine-point run right after.

This happened multiple times during the period due to Sacramento’s poor defensive rotations, but the Kings were able to string together a few stops down the closing-stretch of the third to trim the deficit to 90-88 entering the fourth quarter.

Following a 17-10 run from Chicago that put the Kings in a 107-98 hole with less than eight minutes to go, Sacramento answered back to put themselves within striking distance at 109-105 with 6:01 on the clock.

DeRozen (38 points) and Coby White (31 points) completely picked apart the Kings defense down the stretch as the Bulls duo proved too much to overcome. On his 22nd birthday, White was arguably the deciding factor in the fourth quarter as Sacramento had no answer defensively.

It’s pretty safe to say that the services of Davion Mitchell were greatly missed on Wednesday.

While Mitchell’s presence would unlikely change the outcome of the game, the Kings clearly missed their defensive guard as they struggled to contain White and the Bulls’ perimeter threats.

Time and time again in these recaps I have said the phrase “no silver linings” or “no moral victories”, but I am going to slightly break my own rule.

Although the Bulls were missing plenty of firepower on Wednesday, the are the number-one seed in the Eastern Conference for a reason. They have won five-straight games for a reason. They are 38-21 for a reason.

They are a very good basketball team.

De’Aaron Fox had a great night. Domantas Sabonis just missed a triple-double. As a team, the Kings shot 51-percent from the field and 40-percent from the three-point line.

A lot of things seemed to go right for the Kings, yet, Chicago came out victorious.

The Bulls are that good.

With just 22 games to go, time is running out for Sacramento. As of Wednesday night, the Kings trail the 10th spot in the Western Conference standings by three games. If this team really wants to play postseason basketball, they are going to have to string together some wins out of the break and into the dog days of the season.

For now, the team will return home and get rested before a final push.

Hey, a silver lining that I won’t apologize for… the Sacramento Kings will not lose a basketball game for the next seven days!

Foxin’ Around

For the sixth-straight game, De’Aaron Fox scored 25 points or more during Wednesday’s loss in Chicago. It was the eighth time this season that Fox has topped the 30-point mark.

Fox finished the night with 33 points (14-of-25 shooting from the field), six rebounds, nine assists and two steals over 41 minutes of play.

This marks the second time in Fox’s career that he has scored 25+ points in six-straight games. If the 24-year-old scores 25 points or more next Thursday against Denver, it would establish a new career-long of seven-straight games with 25+ points.

Big Nights For The Ox & Holiday

Domantas Sabonis had his strongest game as a King during Wednesday’s loss as the 25-year-old just narrowly missed a triple-double.

Over 37 minutes, Sabonis scored 22 points (10-of-15 shooting) to go along with 12 rebounds, eight assists and two steals over 37 minutes.

Justin Holiday also had his best game yet as a King, scoring 18 points on six-of-11 shooting from the three-point line.

Injury Report

  • Davion Mitchell was listed as questionable prior to Wednesday’s game due to hand soreness before Alvin Gentry ruled the rookie out during his pregame media session. Gentry said that Mitchell’s injury isn’t severe and added that the 23-year-old would be able to play if it was a pressing situation.
  • Jeremy Lamb was listed as questionable due to left ankle soreness before being ruled out for a third-straight game.
  • Terence Davis will be re-evaluated in two-to-three months after undergoing successful surgery to repair a right wrist ECU tendon injury.

Coming Up

Sacramento will enjoy an eight-day break before playing their next game on Thursday, February 24th when they face the Denver Nuggets at Golden 1 Center.

Following this weekend’s All-Star festivities, the Kings will have several days to get practice time in and get the newest members of the team fully acclimated with all plays and schemes before facing a talented Denver squad.

In the only meeting between the two teams back on January 7th, Nikola Jokic and De’Aaron Fox both topped the 30-point mark, but the Nuggets pulled out a 121-111 win at Ball Arena.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Nuggets coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 5:30pm PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh & Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner prior to a 7:00pm PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

See you all after the All-Star break!

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

  • February 17th-23rd: NBA All-Star Break
  • February 24th vs Denver Nuggets
  • February 26th @ Denver Nuggets
  • February 28th @ Oklahoma City Thunder
  • March 2nd @ New Orleans Pelicans
  • March 3rd @ San Antonio Spurs

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