SACRAMENTO KINGS

Booker’s 44-point night sends Kings to third-straight defeat

Nov 28, 2022, 10:47 PM | Updated: 11:07 pm

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns is guarded by Domantas Sa...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Coming into Monday night’s game against the Phoenix Suns, it was clear that there was one man that the Sacramento Kings needed to focus on when the two teams faced off at Golden 1 Center:

All-Star guard Devin Booker.

As was the case during Sacramento’s losses against the Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics, the best opposing player on the floor acted as the difference during the Kings’ 122-117 loss as Booker scored 44 points on 17-of-28 shooting from the field.

The Kings (10-9) have lost three-straight games on the heels of winning seven-straight games.

Hawks guard Trae Young scored 35 points during a win over the Kings last Wednesday, while Celtics forward Jayson Tatum scored 30 points on Friday evening at TD Garden. Booker became the latest star to torch Sacramento, as it’s clear that this team still has a lot of issues to work on regarding defensive impact.

“Book was doing Book,” Kings guard Malik Monk said of Booker’s huge night. “It’s hard to stop an All-Star like that when he gets on a roll.”

While Booker was getting some rest on the bench during the early stages of the fourth quarter, Suns guard Damion Lee had a game-altering run late as the former Golden State Warrior scored 11 points in the period to help extinguish Sacramento’s final push.

Getting stops would be the difference in this one, as the Kings’ offense looked like its usual self on Monday night. Not only did Sacramento shoot 52 percent from the field during the loss, but they also finished the night nine-of-25 (36%) from three-point range after shooting 26 percent from deep during their losses against the Hawks and Celtics.

Rebounding continues to be an issue for this team as the Suns finished the night having out-boarded the Kings 45-37, with the most-important rebound coming on Phoenix’s final possession of the night as Sacramento was unable to pull down a crucial missed shot while trailing by three points with eight seconds remaining.

Lee came down with the rebound, swung a pass out to Booker, and the Kings were forced to foul, ending the game.

As has been the case in nearly all of Sacramento’s nine losses this season, the game was there for the taking late, but defensive lapses proved huge. If you want to be in the mix for a postseason spot, winning games like Monday’s are a great measuring stick, as the Suns proved why they have been a juggernaut over the past three seasons.

The Kings might have had its six-game home winning streak snapped, but the chance to start a new streak will begin on Wednesday night.

Takeaways

De’Aaron Fox’s rough night

For the first time this season, De’Aaron Fox was a complete non-factor in the loss to Phoenix.

Not only did Fox log 28 minutes–the second-least minutes that he had played in a game this season, not counting October 31st when he exited due to injury–but the 24-year-old scored just 11 points (four-of-12 shooting from the field) as it was evident that he was not himself on Monday night.

Fox was on the bench for long stretches tonight while head coach Mike Brown opted to let lineups that included Davion Mitchell, Malik Monk, and Kevin Huerter play alongside an effective Domantas Sabonis (17 points, nine rebounds, and 10 assists).

When asked how he was feeling physically following the game, Fox said that he is dealing with the same minor bumps and bruises that players deal with throughout the season, adding that it was nothing serious.

It’s just one game, but having Fox contribute even moderately would have likely impacted the outcome of this game. That being said, the sixth-year guard has carried his weight–and then some–more times than not this season. Fox was due for a down game, and he will look to get back on track against old friend Tyrese Haliburton on Wednesday.

Malik Monk’s big night

It was the Malik Monk show for the Kings on Monday.

Monk’s 30 points established a new Kings career-high as the former Kentucky guard shot 12-of-17 from the field over 30 minutes of action.

Whether it was scoring in the paint by way of impressive up-and-under lay-ins or going right to the rack for the score, Monk was excellent across the board for Sacramento in what was his strongest showing of the season. Not only was the 24-year-old a scoring threat, but he also finished the night with eight assists and one steal to round out a memorable performance.

Passing Party

Sacramento dished out 32 assists during the loss, the team’s second-best passing performance of the season.

The Kings assisted 32 of their 46 (69%) made field goals during the loss as players like Domantas Sabonis (10), Malik Monk (8), and De’Aaron Fox (5) led the way as primary distributors.

Notes

  • Keegan Murray quietly had a solid night as the rookie scored 11 points on five-of-11 shooting from the field over just 23 minutes. After a rough couple of weeks, it was encouraging to see Murray have a successful showing.
  • Kevin Huerter finished Monday’s game with 18 points on eight-of-15 shooting from the field, but the guard is 0-of-11 from three-point range over the past two games.

Next Game

Former Kings guards Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield will return to Golden 1 Center for the first time since being traded for Domantas Sabonis in February, as the Indiana Pacers will be in town on Wednesday night.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Pacers 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.

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!

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Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

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

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

Sunday, December 4th – Sacramento Kings vs Chicago Bulls – 3:00 PM PST

Wednesday, December 7th – Sacramento Kings @ Milwaukee Bucks – 5:00 PM PST

Friday, December 9th – Sacramento Kings @ Cleveland Cavaliers – 4:30 PM PST

Sunday, December 11th – Sacramento Kings @ New York Knicks – 3:00 PM PST

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