Kings vs Magic Reaction & Takeaways
Another day, another game-winner for the Sacramento Kings
It isn’t often that you have back-to-back game-winners in the NBA. It’s even more unlikely to happen if you’re the Sacramento Kings.
Well, for the second time in as many games, the Kings pulled out a clutch plays down the stretch to steal a game from the Orlando Magic.
Davion Mitchell’s steal with 12 seconds remaining in regulation forced overtime and Harrison Barnes’ go-ahead triple during the final seconds of overtime would be enough to give Sacramento a 113-110 win at Amway Center on Saturday night.
With the win, the Kings have opened up a five-game road trip with two-straight nail-biting wins as it’s becoming very clear that this team has no intentions of going into the offseason on a dull note.
A Fun First
Whenever you top the 40-point mark in a quarter, you know that you’re doing something right.
Behind a red-hot start from Davion Mitchell, Sacramento jumped out to a 41-28 lead after 12 minutes of play. Mitchell scored 12 points on five-of-six shooting from the field to lead a Kings offense that shot 66-percent from the field and 75-percent from beyond the arc during the first period.
The 41-point outburst marked the eighth time this season that Sacramento has scored 40 points or in a single quarter.
Of course, in classic “KANGZ” fashion, the Kings would go on to score 15 points in the second quarter and 25 points in the third.
Sounds about right.
He’s A Scorer
We all know what Davion Mitchell can bring on the defensive end, but how about the rookie’s impressive run on the other side of the floor?
Mitchell continued to show that he can be an offensive threat, scoring 22 points on 10-of-23 shooting from the field to go along with a career-high-tying nine assists over 45 minutes.
“What I’m asking him to do right now is really, really tough,” Kings head coach Alvin Gentry said postgame of Mitchell’s performance.
“He played 45 minutes tonight. And the way he plays and the intensity that he plays with, it’s almost unfair, really. But he would play the whole 48 (minutes) if I wanted him to.”
Saturday’s game marked Mitchell’s third-straight game with 20+ points and 7+ assists, becoming the first Kings rookie in the Sacramento era (1985-present) to post those numbers in three-straight games.
The last player in franchise history to do so? Hall of Fame guard Oscar Robertson during the 1960-61 season.
As great as Mitchell was on offense, his most-important play of the night came on the defensive end as the 23-year-old picked up a clutch steal-and-score with 12 seconds remaining to tie the game and force overtime.
Overall, it was just another incredible showing from the rookie guard.
As his offense continues to improve, you can’t help but wonder what Mitchell and the Kings could look like playing at this level throughout a full season.
Len, Lyles Turn In Strong Performances
With Sacramento lacking depth at the center position for the first time this season in light of Domantas Sabonis and Richaun Holmes’ absences, Alex Len had his best scoring output in months on Saturday night.
The veteran big man scored 15 points on six-of-eight shooting from the field over 22 minutes. Len’s 15 points were the most that the 28-year-old has scored in a game since January 9th.
Trey Lyles established a new career-high by grabbing 18 rebounds to go along with 11 points over 36 minutes to secure his third double-double of the season.
The 26-year-old’s rebounding ability was massive down the final stretch of the game, as Lyles was able to act as a disruptor in the paint and make things difficult for Orlando big men Mo Bamba and Chuma Okeke.
By each passing game, the odds that Sacramento will pick up Lyles’ $2.6 million option for 2022-23 continue to increase.
An Ideal Night For Donte
Knocking down threes, grabbing rebounds, and playing solid defense. That’s what the Kings need from Done DiVincenzo.
The Villanova product scored 16 points while knocking down three long-balls on Saturday night, with one of the three-point field goals saving the game during the closing moments of overtime.
DiVincenzo also grabbed eight rebounds over 32 minutes to compliment Davion Mitchell’s strong performance.
Watching DiVincenzo and Mitchell play off of each other is something that we all should keep an eye on during the final seven-game of the regular season, especially as we move closer to an offseason that could include a multi-year deal for the soon-to-be restricted free agent in DiVincenzo.
Seeing Donte and Davion’s chemistry together–on the offensive end and most notably, the defensive end–is something to note as general manager Monte McNair looks to craft next season’s roster.
The Return of Jerry Reynolds
Saturday’s game got off to a great start before tip-off.
On the telecast, Kings legend Jerry Reynolds filled in for Kayte Christensen as the color commentator and made it clear that he hasn’t lost a step since retiring from TV duties prior to the 2020-21 season.
For one afternoon, hearing Reynolds’ voice on the telecast bit everyone watching with a little bit of nostalgia. Having Jerry back on the mic was a fun distraction from the realization that we all just watched a game that hit little-to-no meaning as both Sacramento and Orlando set their sights on top-five picks in this summer’s draft.
From the second that his voice was heard on the air, Jerry Reynolds made this game much more watchable. He deserves a round of applause for momentarily setting aside his retirement to fill in on Saturday–and do it as if he has been calling games for the past two seasons, as well.
- De’Aaron Fox (hand) did not play on Saturday and hasn’t resumed basketball activities after injuring his hand on Wednesday vs Milwaukee. Alvin Gentry told The Nick Cattles Show on Friday that Fox’s hand is “blue around the palm” and added that the team will not rush the guard back into action this season.
- Domantas Sabonis (left knee bruise) will be reevaluated once the team returns from their five-game road trip. Sabonis suffered no structural damage to his left knee and is expected to make a full recovery. More on Sabonis here.
- Richaun Holmes will miss the remainder of the season due to personal reasons. More on Holmes here.
- Terence Davis will be re-evaluated at the end of the season after undergoing successful surgery to repair a right wrist ECU tendon injury.
The road trip continues on Monday afternoon when the Kings travel to Miami for a matchup with a dangerous Heat team that is currently sitting in the top-spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Sacramento was able to pull out a narrow 115-113 win over Miami back on January 2nd at Golden 1 Center behind a 24-point performance from De’Aaron Fox.
Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Heat coverage on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 3:00 pm PST on Game Night before a 4:30 pm PST tip-off from downtown Miami.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
- March 28th @ Miami Heat
- March 30th @ Houston Rockets
- April 1st @ Houston Rockets
- April 3rd vs Golden State Warriors
- April 5th vs New Orleans Pelicans (Final home game of the season)