Sluggish Offense Dooms Kings In Loss To Clippers

Dec 22, 2021, 9:29 PM | Updated: 10:09 pm
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 27: Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Sacramento Kings handles the ball during...
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Tyrese Haliburton tallied another double-double, but Sacramento was unable to close the gap late on Wednesday night

Although Tyrese Haliburton continued his double-double streak, the Sacramento Kings were unable to produce consistent offense on Wednesday night.

Aside from an exciting 18-4 run in the third quarter, the Kings offense fell flat in a disappointing 105-89 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at Golden 1 Center.

With the loss, Sacramento (13-20) falls to a season-high seven games below the .500 mark as they begin a three-day Christmas break prior to resuming action on Sunday afternoon when they face the Memphis Grizzlies.

Sacramento couldn’t buy a bucket in the first quarter, finishing the period with just 20 points on 34-percent shooting from the field and 14-percent from three-point range. The Kings turned the ball over six times in the first, with the Clippers taking advantage to pull out in front 25-20 heading into the second.

Los Angeles stretched its lead to 49-38 heading into the break as Sacramento was unable to find an offensive groove during the first half.

Buddy Hield had the worst half of his career on Wednesday, shooting one-of-twelve from the field and one-of-10 from three-point range. As a team, the Kings shot an abysmal 32-percent from the field and 22-percent from beyond the arc, yet they only trailed by 11 points heading into the third quarter.

Outside of Tyrese Haliburton’s 12 points in the first half, there wasn’t much to smile about over the first two periods of play.

Los Angeles opened up the second half by taking a 19-point lead with six minutes remaining in the quarter before Haliburton and the Kings used a furious 18-4 run to cut the deficit to 71-66. Thanks to solid play from Haliburton, Hield and Harrison Barns, Sacramento was able to inject the Golden 1 Center crowd with some life as play entered the fourth quarter.

The Clippers quickly mounted an 11-point lead in the early minutes of the fourth as Eric Bledsoe paced a 10-5 run to create some separation from the surging Kings.

Unfortunately for Sacramento, their exciting run in the third quarter would go to waste as Los Angeles finished out the remainder of the game without much cause for concern. The Kings failed to find consistent offense down the closing stretch and the Clippers took complete advantage of the stalled offense.

Although Tyrese Haliburton had yet another All-Star-level showing, beyond the contributions of Harrison Barnes (18 points), the Kings had no other consistent forms of offense.

Buddy Hield finished the night a rough five-of-22 from the field and five-of-18 from three-point range. As a team, Sacramento shot just 40-percent from the field. From the moment this one tipped off, the offense just wasn’t there.

The Kings will look to get back on track following the three-day Christmas break, with the returns of several players currently in COVID-19 Health & Safety protocols expected to trickle in beginning at that time.

King of the Night

Tyrese Haliburton continues to make history.

Haliburton became the first Kings player in the Sacramento-era (1985-present) to score 20+ points and dish out 10+ assists in four-consecutive games and the first Kings guard since Larry Drew did so in December of 1982 after another impressive double-double on Wednesday night.

The red-hot sophomore guard tallied a new career-high in assists with 13 dimes while also leading all Sacramento scorers with 22 points on seven-of-15 shooting from the field and swiping three steals over 43 minutes of action.

Haliburton is proving on a nightly basis that he is not only capable of running an NBA offense, but that he can do so at a very high caliber of efficiency.

Injury Updates

De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Alex Len, Marvin Bagley III, Terence Davis, Louis King, Neemias Queta and head coach Alvin Gentry are all currently in the NBA’s COVID-19 Health & Safety protocols.

According to the league’s guidelines, those that are in protocols will need register successive negative tests 24 hours apart in order to return to basketball activities. It’s possible that some players could return following the three-day Christmas break, but the status of those in protocols will not be revealed until December 26th.

Richaun Holmes (eye) returned to action on Wednesday night after missing seven-straight games due to a right eye laceration.

Coming Up

Merry Christmas, Kings fans!

Sacramento will enjoy a three-day holiday break before resuming play on December 26th against the Memphis Grizzlies in a Sunday matinee showdown a Golden 1 Center.

Just last Friday, the Grizzlies used a big second half to defeat the Kings by a final of 124-105 behind 24 points from Desmond Bane. After being inactive in the last meeting with Sacrament due to a knee injury, Memphis star guard Ja Morant is expected to be active on Sunday afternoon.

You can find all of your Kings vs Grizzlies coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 1:30pm PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh and Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner prior to an early 3:00pm PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Until then, have a very happy, safe holiday!

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

  • Merry Christmas!
  • December 26th vs Memphis Grizzlies
  • December 28th vs Oklahoma City
  • December 29th vs Dallas Mavericks
  • December 31st vs Dallas Mavericks
  • Happy New Year!
  • January 2nd vs Miami Heat


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