SACRAMENTO KINGS

Kings offense falls flat in blowout loss to 76ers

Jan 12, 2024, 7:10 PM

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 12: Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots the bal...

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The curious case of the Sacramento Kings’ failure to take advantage of teams missing their star players continues to take shape.

On a night that saw the Philadelphia 76ers take the floor without the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player in Joel Embiid, the Kings had no answer for Tobias Harris and their own offense that never got going.

Harris’ season-high 37 points, coupled with a horrible night from Sacramento’s offense, acted as enough to give the 76ers a 112-93 win on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

The Kings (23-15) could never get it going on their end of the floor, especially from beyond the arc, as the 76ers’ pressure defense made life difficult for Sacramento.

After dropping Friday’s game, the Kings have lost ten straight games against Philadelphia dating back to February 2019. Sacramento hasn’t beaten the 76ers on their home floor since February 10, 2016.

Kings vs. 76ers Takeaways

It was a tough start for Sacramento on Friday night as the first quarter seemed to drag on due to an excess of whistles.

The Kings were called for eight team fouls during the opening period, with Domantas Sabonis being hit with two early fouls while Philadelphia built an early double-digit lead.

Tobias Harris scored 14 points in the first–the most that the veteran has scored in a single quarter this season–while the 76ers went 11-for-12 (91%) from the foul line en route to taking a 29-21 advantage into the second.

Things only got worse for Sacramento before the halftime break as Harris’ 23 first-half points paced a 65-46 start for Philadelphia as the Kings were backed into a corner before the second half began.

Sabonis was taken out of the game by an aggressive 76ers defense that doubled the big man each time he touched the ball. With the big man scoring just two points during the first half, the rest of Sacramento’s offense struggled to find success as well:

  • 17/48 FG (35%)
  • 7/27 3PT (25%)
  • 10 turnovers (17 points allowed)

If the Kings wanted to get back into this one, they would have to find stability on the offensive end and learn to handle a high-pressured approach from Philadelphia’s fourth-ranked defense.

Unfortunately for Sacramento, that turnaround never came.

Even during the third quarter, when the Kings held the 76ers to 22 points on 38 percent shooting from the field, Sacramento could not capitalize and chip into a deficit that swelled to 20+ points.

While the Kings did get Philadelphia’s lead down to 14 points heading into the fourth quarter, too much damage had been done to put the Beam Team in a position to steal a win.

Aside from the 76ers’ efficient night on the offensive end–which, the Kings’ infamous defense struggled to combat–and Sacramento’s struggles from beyond the arc, the story in this one was turnovers and 29 points allowed off of 17 Kings turnovers.

Ten of those turnovers took place during the first half–a first half that saw the Kings fall behind the eight-ball as they seemed defeated from the get.

Coupled with their own mistakes, Sacramento also turned in its worst shooting performance in two years.

The Kings’ 34 percent showing from the field and 20 percent clip from three-point range was their worst of the year, while the field goal percentage was the franchiseโ€™s lowest in a game since January 2022 in a game that saw them lose by 53 points to the Boston Celtics.

This has been a trend this season, one that has been a daunting reminder that while Sacramento is in a better place in the standings than they were at this time last year, they are far from a polished product.

Blowout losses to New Orleans, Boston, Minnesota, and now Philadelphia are proof that the Kings might not have enough internal room for improvement as February 8th’s trade deadline approaches.

Sacramento needs upgrades–and it might not be the flashy, star-type of upgrades that some are hoping for, but this team needs to bolster its depth on the defensive end while finding consistency on offense as they hope to keep pace in a competitive Western Conference.

Fox Passes C-Webb

It was a historic night for De’Aaron Fox on Friday night as the star guard passed Hall of Fame forward and Kings legend Chris Webber on the team’s all-time scoring list during the Sacramento era (1985-present).

Fox, who passed Webber’s 8,843 total for fourth on the all-time list, scored his 8,444th point during the first half to push himself closer to Mitch Richmond’s record of 12,070 points.

The All-Star guard finished the night with a team-high 21 points on five-of-15 shooting over 38 minutes.

Notes

  • Domantas Sabonis posted a double-double for the 21st consecutive game during the loss on Friday. Sabonis’ 34 double-doubles lead the NBA this season. 14 PTS | 12 REB | 5 AST

Injury Updates

Kevin Huerter (left ankle sprain) did not suit up during Friday’s game after initially being listed as questionable. Huerter is considered day-to-day.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Things won’t get any easier for Sacramento as they will go from facing one Eastern Conference powerhouse to the next.

The Kings will hope to snap a 14-game losing streak to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday afternoon when the two teams meet at the Fiserv Forum.

Sacramento’s last win against the Bucks came on February 1, 2016. Their last win in Milwaukee? November 25, 2015.

That’s right. The Sacramento Kings haven’t beaten the Milwaukee Bucks in nearly a decade.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Bucks coverage, beginning at 2:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:00 PM PST tip-off from ‘Cream City.’

Upcoming Schedule

  • Sunday, January 14thย โ€“ Sacramento Kings @ Milwaukee Bucks โ€“ 4:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, January 16thย โ€“ Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns โ€“ 6:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, January 18thย โ€“ Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers โ€“ 7:00 PM PST
  • Monday, January 22ndย โ€“ Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks โ€“ 7:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, January 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7:00 PM PST

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