Sacramento’s winning streak hits seven after thrilling win over Grizzlies

Nov 22, 2022, 8:41 PM | Updated: 9:11 pm
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 22: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings brings the ball up court ...
(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

For the seventh-consecutive game, the Golden 1 Center’s purple beacon will shine across the Sacramento skyline.

Things got dicey late, but the Sacramento Kings were able to hold off a late comeback from the Memphis Grizzlies as they secured their seventh-straight win by a final of 113-109 on Tuesday night at the FedEx Forum.

If it feels like it’s been a while since the last time the Kings won seven-straight games, it’s because it has been–about 18 years, to be exact. This marks the franchise’s first seven-game winning streak since November 13-26, 2004.

The streak continues, and once again, it’s time to light the beam as the Kings (10-6) move into third place in the Western Conference standings.

After getting punished in the paint during the first quarter, Sacramento turned things around during the second quarter as they went on to outscore Memphis 36-28 thanks to 15 first-half points from Kevin Huerter.

The Kings’ high-powered offense has been making headlines during the winning streak, but tonight’s win very well could come down to how they defended the Grizzlies during the third quarter, a quarter that head coach Mike Brown called the team’s best of the season.

Memphis scored just 17 points on eight-of-27 (30%) shooting from the field as Sacramento took advantage by opening up the fourth quarter with a 12-point lead.

Of course, as we have learned during the opening month of the season, Kings wins never come easy–and Tuesday’s victory against the Grizzlies wouldn’t be any different.

Things seemed to be in the bag for Sacramento as they took a 104-93 lead with 2:51 remaining, but that was when the game took a turn. Star guard Ja Morant–who was originally listed as doubtful for the game against the Kings due to an ankle sprain–led a furious comeback charge in the form of a 7-0 Grizzlies run as a once-comfortable 11-point lead was reduced to just three with one minute remaining.

The final minute of play turned into a free-throw shooting contest, and the Kings had Harrison Barnes, Malik Monk, and De’Aaron Fox close things out at the line while players like Morant and Steven Adams struggled to find the bottom of the net during their crucial attempts from the charity stripe.

Even though the Kings looked lost as the Grizzlies displayed full-court pressure, turning the ball over five times over the final five minutes, they played enough solid basketball to knock off a Memphis team that held a 6-1 record on their home floor.

It wasn’t a perfect win, but the fact that Sacramento was hit hard early and was able to control the tone of the game for most of the final three-quarters of play is certainly noteworthy. Memphis was near full-strength with Morant in the lineup, and the Grizzlies are a team that the Kings have struggled with over the past two seasons.

On a night that the offense saw its six-game streak of scoring 120+ points come to an end, on a night that Sacramento shot 43% from the field and 33% from beyond the three-point line, it all wouldn’t matter. They found a way to get the job done, and that’s what good basketball teams do.

The streak hits seven, and the beam is lit once again. Fun times are being had in Sacramento.

Star Fox

De’Aaron Fox is playing out of his mind this season.

The speedy guard finished Tuesday night’s game with a game-high 32 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field (five-of-eight from three-point land), eight rebounds, six assists, four steals, and just one turnover during 35 minutes of All-Star-esque action.

Fox’s ability to convert in a variety of ways is what makes him such a dynamic player this season, as he is causing a high percentage of his damage in the mid-to-deep-range areas on the floor. This isn’t the at-the-rim-or-nothing Fox that non-Kings fans are expecting when they watch the Kentucky product.

This version of Fox is different than anything that we have seen before. He’s rebounding, he’s continuing to distribute the ball, and maybe even more importantly, he is buying in on the defensive end.

Fox is the motor behind Sacramento’s impressive 10-6 start to the season, and he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

The Return of the Black Falcon

During the Kings’ 0-4 start to the year, nobody else on Sacramento’s roster was receiving more criticism than Harrison Barnes.

Barnes had averaged 10.3 points per game on just 11% shooting from beyond the arc during a brutal opening week of action, but the veteran forward has been an offensive force over the past couple of games.

For the second-straight game, Barnes scored 26 points or more as the 30-year-old followed up a 27-point outing against the Detroit Pistons with a 26-point night on Tuesday. Barnes shot seven-of-13 from the field and four-of-eight from beyond the arc while also converting all eight of his attempts from the free-throw line during the winning effort.

Head coach Mike Brown applauded Barnes’ play during his postgame press conference, pointing out that his forward did a good job of settling the younger guys down during the critical final seconds of play.

“He shot the ball well, had 26 points, but what I thought more than anything else was that he really settled us down, down the stretch,” Brown said of Barnes postgame. “Obviously we were haywire, going crazy. Harrison made some big plays down the stretch and knocked down some big free throws to keep the lead. His veteran leadership showed up tonight.”

The Kings play well when Harrison Barnes plays well. That’s a quote that I have used often when talking about the 10-year veteran. Tuesday’s game was a perfect example of what happens when ‘The Black Falcon’ is in a groove.

Red Velvet Stays Hot

Kevin Huerter continued to punish the net as ‘Red Velvet’ finished the night with 18 points on six-of-10 shooting from the field and four-of-seven from beyond the arc. The 24-year-old also grabbed six boards, swiped three steals, and blocked a shot as his defense was noteworthy during the win.

Huerter has hit 4+ three-pointers in 10 games this season. Only Steph Curry (13 games) has done so more.

Postgame Show

Check out our Sactown Sports Kings Recap Show on the Sactown Sports 1140 YouTube channel!

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

Next Game

The Kings will complete the second night of a back-to-back on Wednesday when Kevin Huerter returns to face his former team–the Atlanta Hawks–for the first time at State Farm Arena.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Hawks coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 3:00 pm PST on Game Night before action tips off at 4:30 pm PST from Atlanta, Georgia.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Wednesday, November 23rd – Sacramento Kings @ Atlanta Hawks – 4:30 PM PST

Friday, November 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Boston Celtics – 5:00 PM PST

Monday, November 28th – Sacramento Kings vs Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM PST

Wednesday, November 30th – Sacramento Kings vs Indiana Pacers – 7:00 PM PST

Saturday, December 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Clippers – 1:00 PM PST


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