Bah Humbug: Wizards pummel Sacramento in front of packed G1C
It won’t be a holly jolly Christmas for the Sacramento Kings this year.
The Kings delivered their worst performance of the season during an embarrassing 125-111 loss to the Washington Wizards on Friday night as a packed Golden 1 Center was treated to a lump of coal instead of a beam lighting.
With the loss, Sacramento falls to 17-14 on the season as they will head into a two-day break to reflect on the ugly loss before opening up a back-to-back set against the number-one seed Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.
DE'AARON FOX OH MY 😱 pic.twitter.com/6tkk9eyQl5
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) December 24, 2022
The energy inside Golden 1 Center was off the charts early, as the Kings and Wizards were neck-and-neck during the first quarter.
Once Washington center Taj Gibson missed two free throws that gave every fan in attendance a free mint chocolate chip cookie, the lid almost blew off of the building as it seemed that this game was shaping up to be a close game with lots of excitement from those in attendance.
So much for that.
Golden 1 Center sounded like a library by the second quarter as the Kings looked out of whack on both ends of the floor. Washington picked apart the Sacramento defense as they outscored the Kings 40-23 during the second to take a 68-50 lead into the halftime break.
The Wizards blew things wide open in the third as they stretched their lead to 30 points as a lethargic Kings defense looked sloppy on weak side rotations, allowing Washington to shoot 57% from the floor during the period.
Even when Sacramento began to show signs of life late in the third quarter, each run would be extinguished as the Kings could not string together consecutive stops. Kyle Kuzma, Bradley Beal, and Rui Hachimura proved too much on Friday night, and Sacramento never had a legitimate chance after the abysmal second-quarter performance.
The defense was the main culprit during the loss to Washington, as the Kings surrendered a whopping 70 points in the paint–just one point less than the Charlotte Hornets scored in the paint during their win at Golden 1 Center on Monday night.
DG sent a DIME through the legs 🤯 pic.twitter.com/eUXN4MJHa4
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) December 24, 2022
Allowing a team like Washington, who entered play as the 24th-ranked team in points per game (110.8) score 125 points on 55 percent shooting from the field, it’s time to go back to the drawing board for Mike Brown and the rest of this Kings team that continues to search for stability on that end of the floor.
Of course, you can only win if you score the ball, and Sacramento also struggled on the offensive end.
The Kings finished the night shooting 43 percent from the field and 29 percent from beyond the three-point arc during the losing effort. Sacramento fell to 1-8 this season when they shoot 32 percent or lower from the three-point stripe.
Sacramento, who dished out 19 assists as a team during the loss, also fell to 0-4 this year when finishing a game with 20 or fewer assists.
It was a very reminiscent loss for the Kings in this one, as it felt like this exciting team was visited by the ghosts of Christmas past. Aside from a blowout win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, this team does not look like itself right now.
After a 1-2 start to the six-game homestand, Sacramento will hope to bounce back on Tuesday against Denver.
Sabonis Does It Again
The Sacramento Kings struggled on Friday night. Domantas Sabonis did not.
Sabonis posted his second-straight triple-double during the loss, becoming the first King to do so since Rajon Rondo had back-to-back triple-double performances in November 2015.
Over 34 minutes of playing time, Sabonis finished the night with 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists in what was another wasted effort by the two-time All-Star center.
Domantas Sabonis has had two incredible performances wasted during this home stand–both against teams that are under the .500 mark.
28 PTS | 23 REB | 7 AST vs Charlotte
20 PTS | 15 REB | 10 AST vs Washington
— Frankie Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) December 24, 2022
Sabonis’ big night comes just four days after he posted a 28-point, 23-rebound double-double during a loss to the Charlotte Hornets–the owners of the NBA’s worst record. Sacramento has wasted two of their big man’s incredible performances, and the worst part is that Sabonis might have suffered an injury in the process.
The 26-year-old exited the game with three minutes remaining after emerging from a chase for a rebound, shaking his right hand in discomfort before heading for the locker room.
Mike Brown said he had no information regarding Sabonis’ status following the game, but more details on the big man’s status should be available before the team next takes the floor on Tuesday.
- De’Aaron Fox finished the night with 26 points (nine-of-16 shooting) and seven rebounds over 35 minutes
- During pregame availability, Brown said that Neemias Queta was the backup center, but Queta only logged four minutes of playing time. Richaun Holmes played six minutes at the backup center spot on Friday. Brown said that he is “going to keep searching” for stability within the position:
"I'm going to keep searching… Nobody has really been able to hold onto that spot. We need to be able to spell Domas without our backup center picking up multiple fouls in a six-minute span. I'll keep searching until I can find that." – Mike Brown on the backup center position.
— Frankie Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) December 24, 2022
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The Kings will enjoy two days off to enjoy the holidays before opening up a back-to-back set of games against the Denver Nuggets at Golden 1 Center on Tuesday night.
Get your Kings vs. Nuggets 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
Tuesday, December 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST
Wednesday, December 28th – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST
Friday, December 30th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7:00 PM PST
2023| Happy New Year! | 2023
Sunday, January 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies – 5:00 PM PST
Tuesday, January 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6:00 PM PST