Sacramento Kings win sixth-straight game for first time since 2005
For the first time in over 17 years, the Sacramento Kings have won six consecutive basketball games.
It wasn’t a perfect Sunday afternoon for the Kings as they struggled to slow down a Detroit Pistons team that scored a season-high in points while shooting 52 percent from the field and 51 percent from three-point range. Trailing by five with five minutes to go, it was do-or-die time for Sacramento:
Come back and win, or let 17,611 fans in attendance at Golden 1 Center head home without being able to view the victory beam in their rear-view mirrors.
The Kings would end the game on an 18-5 run thanks to a strong closing effort from the starting five of De’Aaron Fox, Kevin Huerter, Keegan Murray, Harrison Barnes, and Domantas Sabonis as the Pistons fell flat during the final five minutes.
Fox went to the free-throw line to put the game away as ‘M-V-P’ chants echoed around the arena, a fitting way to end a 137-129 win and cap off a perfect 4-0 homestand.
Sacramento is on a six-game winning streak for the first time since January 11-20, 2005. The beloved beam that sits on top of Golden 1 Center will have another long night of work ahead as this team continues to prove that they are here to stay when it comes to being a Western Conference playoff contender.
DE'AARON AGAIN pic.twitter.com/vlzuWf7DiM
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 21, 2022
Detroit entered play on Sunday as the NBA’s worst team at 3-14 on the year, which made a lot of sense when you looked at their offensive ranks among the rest of the league.
Fortunately for the Pistons, they were facing a Kings defense that has yet to show promise this season, and you could tell early on that this game would not be a blowout as many might have previously anticipated. Detroit took a 70-68 lead into the break after shooting 61 percent from the field and an incredible 64 percent from beyond the arc.
Those numbers would need to fall if Sacramento hoped to board their flight happy, and that’s exactly what happened.
The Kings turned their defensive intensity up during the fourth quarter as they held the Pistons to 44 percent shooting from the field (one-of-five during the final five minutes) while players like Fox, Huerter, and Barnes took over offensively.
Fox led all scorers with 33 points on 11-of-18 shooting to go along with four rebounds and seven assists over 36 minutes. Sacramento’s final push started with 4:11 remaining in regulation when the speedy guard spun Pistons rookie Jaden Ivey into a complete circle during a transition drive that ended with an electrifying slam dunk that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
As soon as Fox delivered the emphatic jam, you could sense a shift in momentum, something that would prove true in the coming possessions.
DE'AARON OH MY 😤 pic.twitter.com/ecv36rA2wi
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 21, 2022
30 seconds later, Huerter’s triple from the top of the arc tied things up at 124-124, but there was more to come from ‘Red Velvet’.
Huerter scored 10 of his 24 points during the fourth quarter as the new Kings guard came up clutch down the final stretch. Along with Fox and Huerter’s contributions, Harrison Barnes continued his solid play by scoring six points during crunch time, including two free throws with 14.6 seconds left to ice the game.
Barnes finished the night with a season-high 27 points (eight-of-11 from the field), nine rebounds, and three assists over 36 minutes. The veteran forward knocked down 10 of his 11 free throw attempts during the win as Sacramento shot 88 percent from the line over 35 attempts.
The defense wasn’t pretty for the Kings, but when you are averaging 131.5 points per game during a six-game winning streak, it’s easy to look past the lapses that have been made on the other side of the floor–but head coach Mike Brown says that his team got lucky on Sunday.
“I just didn’t like our approach, especially early on, and I didn’t like how we responded, especially after they hit a couple of shots,” Brown said postgame of his team’s defensive effort against Detroit.
“Teams in this business, if you give them an opportunity to get rhythm, it can be a long, long night, and we got lucky down the stretch to get this win. It’s not always about the wins and losses. It’s about playing the right way and approaching the game the right way, and we as a group, starting with me, some how, someway, have to do a better job with it.”
Sacramento’s offense is currently the best in the league when it comes to scoring the basketball, but if they can play even close-to-average defense, it could make them that much more of a legit postseason contender in a tough Western Conference. According to StatMuse, the Kings are currently averaging the most points per game (121.4) by a team since the 1984 Denver Nuggets (123.7).
Poor defense excluded, the streak continues for the Kings as they are looking less like an early-season feel-good story and more like a team that should be taken seriously with each passing game.
- Domantas Sabonis posted his ninth double-double of the season during the win: 15 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, 4/5 FG, 5 PF, 34 MIN
- Former Kings forward Marvin Bagley III made his return to Golden 1 Center and the 22-year-old was treated with a lot of boos during a 15-point, six-rebounds performance.
Mostly boos for Marvin Bagley III in his return to Golden 1 Center. pic.twitter.com/dIVa1EX40k
— Frankie Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) November 20, 2022
Keegan Murray (back soreness) returned from a one-game absence after suffering a strained back during Tuesday’s win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Malik Monk was active for Sunday’s game after originally being listed as questionable (dental procedure).
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Sacramento will embark on a tough three-game road trip that will begin on Tuesday night when the Kings face a short-handed Memphis Grizzlies squad that will be without All-Star guard Ja Morant and Desmond Bane.
During the only meeting between the teams on October 27th, Bane scored 31 points (six-of-eight shooting from beyond the arc) as the Grizzlies defeated the Kings by a final of 125-110–Sacramento’s only loss this season by more than seven points.
Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Grizzlies coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 3:00 pm PST on Cattles & Ramie before action tips off at 5:00 pm PST from Memphis, Tennessee.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
Tuesday, November 22nd – Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies – 5:00 PM PST
Wednesday, November 23rd – Sacramento Kings @ Atlanta Hawks – 4:30 PM PST
Friday, November 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Boston Celtics – 5:00 PM PST
Monday, November 28th – Sacramento Kings vs Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM PST
Wednesday, November 30th – Sacramento Kings vs Indiana Pacers – 7:00 PM PST