Giannis, Holiday snap Sacramento’s three-game winning streak
Dec 7, 2022, 7:56 PM | Updated: 8:04 pm
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
February 1, 2016.
That’s the last time that the Sacramento Kings defeated the Milwaukee Bucks.
Sacramento put up a fight for most of the night on Wednesday, but two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and All-Star guard Jrue Holiday proved to be too much down the stretch as the Bucks pulled out a 126-113 win at Fiserv Forum.
The Kings (13-10) dropped their first contest in over a week following a three-game winning streak as they started a six-game road trip on a sour note in Milwaukee.
Keegan's 3-pointer is pure pic.twitter.com/I8Rid1PaZK
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) December 8, 2022
When you evaluate how the Kings lost this game, it really comes down to how things unfolded on the glass and in the paint.
Second-chance opportunities absolutely killed Sacramento as the Bucks were able to capitalize on 17 offensive rebounds (against eight from the Kings) in a game where Milwaukee finished the night ahead 60-43 on the boards. Outside of Domantas Sabonis’12 rebounds, the only other member of the Kings with more than five rebounds was Malik Monk (six).
Of course, rebounds played a role, but the fact that Antetokounmpo (35 points on 12-of-19 shooting) and Holiday (31 points on 12-of-23 shooting) got absolutely whatever they wanted on the offensive end didn’t help at all, not that the Kings didn’t try to slow the All-Star duo down.
Davion Mitchell and KZ Okpala were both deployed to try and slow down the Bucks duo, to no avail. Milwaukee is an elite team, and while Sacramento appears to be on the rise, they were given a dose of what a true NBA Finals contender looks like on Wednesday night.
The Bucks’ polished play had the Kings offense out of whack during the loss, as Sacramento finished the game having handed out a season-low 19 assists. When you add in the team’s struggles from beyond the arc (31%), there weren’t many positives to hang your hat on when this was all said and done. If you add in Sunday’s 13-of-43 performance from beyond the arc against Chicago, Sacramento is shooting 25-for-81 (30%) from three-point range over the past two games.
It was one game–against one of the NBA’s elite teams, nonetheless–that the Kings were in until late, but this one still has a bit of a sting to it. Sacramento fell down by eight-to-10 points again and again before battling back, trimming the deficit to just three points entering the fourth quarter before the Bucks went on a run and put things away.
You can’t win them all, but you can learn from them all. Expect Mike Brown’s bunch to take plenty of learning experiences away from this game as they prepare for another tough matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
Fox & The Ox
Domantas Sabonis continued All-Star-esque play was a silver lining to the loss as the 26-year-old scored 23 points on nine-of-11 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds and seven assists over 36 minutes. The Lithuanian center posted his 15th double-double of the season, which tied Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis for the most in the NBA.
Domas gets the friendly roll pic.twitter.com/zaGfyTTA3b
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) December 8, 2022
One of the main storylines coming into this matchup was that Brook Lopez, the NBA’s leading shot-blocker, would give Sabonis fits down low, but that wasn’t the case in this one.
Outside of Sabonis’ strong showing, rookie forward Keegan Murray finished the night with 15 points on three-of-five shooting from beyond the arc to go with two blocks over 27 minutes. Harrison Barnes turned in another 20-plus point performance (20 points on six-of-11 shooting), while Kevin Huerter knocked off the rust to convert three of his six attempts from beyond the arc.
Many eyes were on De’Aaron Fox on Wednesday as the star guard continues to struggle following a red-hot start to the season. Fox finished the night with just 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field (one-of-six from deep) to go along with two rebounds and two assists over 32 minutes.
Fox clearly does not look like himself, and one must wonder if the time has come to give the 24-year-old a game or two off as he works his way back to full health after dealing with general soreness and a non-COVID illness during last week’s home stand.
- Sacramento has lost 12 straight games against the Bucks dating back to the 2016-17 season. Their last win: February 1, 2016.
- De’Aaron Fox has passed Mitch Richmond for second place on the Sacramento-era all-time assist list with 2,129. Only Mike Bibby has more.
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Sacramento will continue the six-game road trip on Friday night when they face off against a dangerous Cleveland Cavaliers team.
On November 9th, the Kings had one of their more-impressive showings when they defeated the Cavs by a final of 127-120 at Golden 1 Center.
Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Cavs coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 3:00 pm PST on Game Night before action tips off at 4:30 pm PST from downtown Cleveland.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
Friday, December 9th – Sacramento Kings @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 4:30 PM PST
Sunday, December 11th – Sacramento Kings @ New York Knicks – 3:00 PM PST
Tuesday December 13th – Sacramento Kings @ Philadelphia 76ers – 4:30 PM PST
Wednesday, December 14th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 4:30 PM PST
Friday, December 16th – Sacramento Kings @ Detroit Pistons – 4:00 PM PST