SACRAMENTO KINGS

Raining Triples: Sacramento uses long-ball, big second half to beat Grizz

Jan 24, 2023, 12:01 AM | Updated: 12:20 am
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 23: Trey Lyles #41 of the Sacramento Kings goes for a loose ball a...
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Did you miss Monday night’s game between the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies?

If so, here’s a quick recap: Turnovers, three-pointers, and more three-pointers.

Sacramento used a big night from beyond the arc to overcome a season-high in turnovers (25) during a blowout 133-100 win–the team’s largest margin of victory this season–over the Grizzlies in front of another sold-out crowd at Golden 1 Center.

Thanks to Trey Lyles and Malik Monk’s significant bench contributions, the Kings took over in the second half as they outscored Memphis 67-39 while holding the Grizz to just 35 percent shooting from the field.

With the win, Sacramento improved to 27-19 on the year after securing its seventh win over the past eight contests. The 2021-22 team picked up its 27th win on March 26th to improve to 27-48 on the season.

The ‘Beam Team’ continues to prove that they are different.

 

It was raining triples during the first quarter, as Harrison Barnes and Keegan Murray started things off with a bang during the opening period.

Barnes (15 points on five-of-six shooting from deep) and Murray (11 points) were the driving forces behind a 47-point first quarter from the Kings offense. Sacramento tied an NBA record by making 12 three-point field goals–including their first 11 attempts–during the first, as the team went 12-for-13 from beyond the arc to put themselves in a great spot early.

As great a start as the offense had in the first, Memphis would erase all feelings of confidence after holding Sacramento to 19 points during the second quarter. Even after flirting with establishing a new league record for made triples in a quarter, the Grizzlies were right there at the half and knocking on the door after trimming the deficit to 66-61.

That was where Memphis’ night essentially came to an end.

The Kings used a big third quarter from De’Aaron Fox (nine points) and the rest of the offense as Sacramento bounced back to take a 100-90 lead into the fourth quarter. At that point, it was the bench’s time to shine.

Lyles scored eight of his season-high 24 points during the fourth quarter, while Malik Monk grabbed five rebounds and four assists in the period to bring himself to within one rebound and two assists of his first-career triple-double. The Kings outscored a defeated Grizzlies team 33-10 during the fourth while ending the game on an electrifying 30-4 run.

Even on a night that the Kings turned the ball over a season-high 24 times, the offense slugged its way to a 133-point outing on 55 percent shooting from both the field and beyond the three-point line (22/40).

“It’s like flowing water, it’s natural,” Lyles said of Sacramento’s efficient second-half offense. “It’s fun to be a part of.”

While it isn’t the most excellent strategy to out-gun your opponent on the offensive end each night, that was only the case for one half on Monday night. After allowing the Grizzlies to score 61 points on 46 percent shooting from the field and 43 percent from beyond the arc, the Kings took Memphis’ offense and put it in a lock box for the final 24 minutes.

The Grizzlies scored 39 points during the second half–including just 10 points in the fourth quarter–while shooting 35 percent from the field and three-of-15 (20%) from downtown.

“We didn’t want the same thing to happen that happened the other night [against Philadelphia],” Sabonis said of Sacramento’s defensive intensity during the final two quarters. “We had to come out and turn it up a little more.”

Sabonis and the rest of the Kings wanted to avoid repeating the same mistakes from Saturday’s loss to a 76ers team that was without both Joel Embiid and James Harden, as the Grizzlies took the floor without star guard Ja Morant and center Steven Adams on Monday.

Even after winning six-straight games against some lower competition, concerns surfaced following the loss to Philadelphia. At halftime of tonight’s game against another shorthanded team in the Grizzlies, those concerns grew as Sacramento struggled to create separation from Memphis.

Those concerns were eased emphatically by bringing the hammer down and winning by a season-high 33 points.

If the Kings are going to prove that they are a top-tier Western Conference team, they need to dominate games when their opponents are missing key pieces. Monday’s game was a great example of what they are capable of when they can overcome their self-destructive tendencies and take care of business.

Sacramento is a first-place team sitting in third place in the West. It’s time that they start acting like it.

Rounding Out The Box Score

Domantas Sabonis posted a triple-double during Monday’s winning effort for the third time over a five-game span. The two-time All-Star now ranks third in the NBA in triple-doubles (6) while extending his league lead in double-doubles (36).

14 PTS | 7/13 FG | 10 REB | 11 AST | 8 TO (tied career-high)

De’Aaron Fox finished with his seventh double-double of the season as the guard scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds, swiped four steals, and handed out ten assists during the win.

Head coach Mike Brown shared postgame that Fox was in charge of leading in-game huddles during timeouts in the second half, and the 25-year-old helped orchestrate a big push that put the game out of reach late in the third quarter.

Keegan Murray continued to prove that he has taken Brown’s call to have to rookie hit the glass more to heart, as the 22-year-old finished the night with nine rebounds–his third game with 9+ rebounds over his past four appearances.

Of course, the sharpshooting rookie got hot from beyond the arc on Monday:

20 PTS | 7/11 FG | 5/7 3PT | 9 REB | 1 BLK | 34 MIN

Murray (six games) now holds Sacramento’s single-season franchise record for most games with 5+ made three-point field goals by a rookie, passing Jason Williams (5, 1998-99).

Harrison Barnes did most of his damage early (15 points on 5/6 shooting from deep during the first quarter), but the veteran forward finished the night with another 20-point effort on Monday.

Sacramento is 11-4 when Barnes scores 20+ points this season.

Malik Monk had an excellent bounce-back performance after going through a rough couple of weeks, as the guard flirted with his first-career triple-double. Monk was making plays for his teammates, scoring in the paint, and attacking the glass–something that Mike Brown praised him for postgame.

“He’s made plays for us all year. He’s been big for us all year, so it’s going to take some time for me to decide to go in opposite direction with him because he’s helped us win a lot of ball games the right way,” Brown said of Monk’s night. “He’s shown that he’s more than capable like tonight.”

Monk finished the game with 13 points (5/9 FG), nine rebounds, and eight assists over 23 minutes of action.

Trey Lyles did most of his heavy lifting on offense (24 points on eight-of-11 shooting from the field and six-of-eight from beyond the arc), but the forward made an impact on the defensive end as well.

Lyles swatted three shots and grabbed two steals as well during the win.

Sacramento took advantage of an Adams-less Grizzlies frontline on Monday, as the Kings out-rebounded Memphis 53-31 during the win.

Bibby In The House

Kings legend Mike Bibby was in attendance on Monday night to ring the pregame cowbell, sit in on the NBC Sports California postgame show, and more.

With Bibby in the house, Sacramento was able to light the beam and celebrate the former guard’s presence with something that he was quite familiar with during his time in a Kings jersey–wins.

Next Game

Sacramento will conclude a four-game home stand on Wednesday night when they face the Toronto Raptors at Golden 1 Center.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs. Raptors coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 5:30 pm PST on Game Night before action tips off at 7:00 pm PST from downtown Sacramento.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Wednesday, January 25th – Sacramento Kings vs. Toronto Raptors – 7:00 PM PST

Saturday, January 28th – Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 5:00 PM PST

Monday, January 30th – Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 5:00 PM PST

Wednesday, February 1st – Sacramento Kings @ San Antonio Spurs – 5:00 PM PST

Friday, February 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers – 4:00 PM PST

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