Stagnant Kings offense proves costly during loss to Grizzlies

Jan 1, 2023, 7:46 PM
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - JANUARY 01: Tyus Jones #21 of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts during the first ha...
(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

When you have not one but two five-minute periods without a made basket, it’s going to be hard to win an NBA game.

Sacramento’s offense shot just 40 percent from the field during a physical matchup against a tough defensive team in the Memphis Grizzlies, as the Kings fell by a final of 118-108 during a New Year’s Day matchup at FedEx Forum.

With the loss, the Kings (19-16) failed to pull themselves five games above the .500 mark for the fourth time this season. Sacramento hasn’t been five games over .500 since April of 2006–the last season that the franchise made the NBA Playoffs.

Sacramento’s offense struggled to find a rhythm early, as the Kings missed 14-straight field goal attempts before finally breaking through during the second quarter. After falling behind by eight points, Domantas Sabonis, Malik Monk, and De’Aaron Fox all finished the first half in double-figures to trim the deficit to 59-58 at the break.

Sabonis gave a tough Grizzlies defense fits in the paint as the big man finished the half with 14 points and 10 rebounds over 15 minutes of action to secure his league-leading 26th double-double of the season.

Aside from Sabonis’ 14 points, Malik Monk’s 12 points, and De’Aaron Fox’s 10 points, the rest of the Sacramento offense scored just 22 points on 11-of-37 (30%) shooting from the field. If the Kings wanted to start 2023 off with a win, they would need to get more members of the offense going to aid Sabonis, Monk, and Fox’s efforts.

Help for the Kings’ leading scorers wouldn’t come, as Sacramento had another cold stretch that included a nearly five-minute field-goal drought. That second scoring drought would prove fatal, as Memphis took control of the game for good while the Kings’ offense continued to struggle.

Even when Sacramento made things interesting late, Grizzlies center Steven Adams corralled multiple offensive rebounds to drain the clock and seal the game. Adams, who established a career-high for rebounds in a game against the Kings back in 2018, matched that effort from five seasons ago with 23 boards on Sunday night.

Ja Morant’s 35-point outing on 13-of-23 shooting from the field proved too much for the Kings defense, while Memphis role players Tyus Jones (18 points) and Dillon Brooks (15 points) chipped in during the win.

De’Aaron Fox led Sacramento with 19 points on just seven-of-18 shooting from the field, while Malik Monk added 18 points off of the bench.

Domantas Sabonis racked up his league-leading 26th double-double during the win, as the big man scored 18 points (eight-of-14 shooting from the field) to go along with 14 points, and four assists over 33 minutes.

Sabonis has posted 10+ points and 10+ rebounds in 13-straight games, tying LaSalle Thompson for the second-longest such streak in the Sacramento era. DeMarcus Cousins holds the Sac-Era record with 15-straight double-doubles (2013-14 season).

Sacramento Kings Postgame Show

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Sactown Sports Kings Recap Shows will be happening all season long, immediately following each Kings game!

Next Game

Sacramento’s brief two-game road trip will end on Tuesday when they face the Utah Jazz for the second time over a five-day span.

The Kings defeated the Jazz on Friday night during a 126-125 thriller at Golden 1 Center behind Kevin Huerter’s career-high 30 points and late-game heroics.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs. Jazz coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 4:30 pm PST on Game Night before action tips off at 6:00 pm PST from Salt Lake City.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Tuesday, January 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6:00 PM PST

Wednesday, January 4th – Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks – 7:00 PM PST

Saturday, January 7th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 7:00 PM PST

Monday, January 9th – Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic – 7:00 PM PST

Wednesday, January 11th – Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets – 7:00 PM PST


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