NBA

Fox Takes Over In Fourth To Secure Kings’ First Road Win Since December 1st

Feb 12, 2022, 6:57 PM | Updated: 7:22 pm
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Domantas Sabonis #11 of the Sacramento Kings drives to the basket ove...
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Sacramento has won three of their last four games

For the first time since December 1st, the Sacramento Kings have picked up a win away from the confines of Golden 1 Center.

Thanks for a massive second half turnaround and valiant closing effort from De’Aaron Fox, the Kings snapped a 13-game skid with a 123-110 win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday afternoon.

Don’t look now, but Sacramento (22-36) has won three of their last four games and improve to 2-0 since acquiring two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis.

During the win, the Kings shot a season-high 56-percent from the field as four members of the team (De’Aaron Fox, Harrison Barnes, Domantas Sabonis, Moe Harkless) finished with 16 points or more.

Although the Kings offense looked sharp in the early going, Sacramento’s defense looked…well, the same as always: very bad.

Washington took a 29-24 lead into the second quarter after the Kings allowed the Wizards to shoot 51-percent from the field and end the period on a 9-3 run. Things would get worse before they got better as Sacramento trailed by as many as 13 points before getting things under control by the halftime break.

The Kings allowed 17 points off of nine first-half turnovers as Kyle Kuzma (17 points) and the Wizards were able to take a 65-59 lead as play entered the third quarter.

Midway through the third quarter, Harrison Barnes and the Kings mounted an 8-0 run to finally regain the lead after Washington had been firmly planted in the driver’s seat for a majority of the contest.

Sacramento went on to outscore the Wizards 33-23 in the period and take a 92-88 lead into the fourth quarter as they eyed its first road win in over two months.

As we have seen many times in the past, De’Aaron Fox put another one of his “Fourth Quarter Fox” performances on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old helped extend Sacramento’s lead to 111-98 with less than seven minutes to go after scoring seven-straight points to put the Kings on cruise control for the game. After a rough first half, Sacramento went on to outscore Washington 64-45 over the final 24 minutes of play.

Many teams have made second-half adjustments against the Kings this season, but on Wednesday night against Minnesota and in Washington on Saturday, Sacramento was the one to turn things around.

Wednesday’s win was one that was full of ball-movement as the Kings fell one assist short of tying their season-high of 33 assists. On Saturday, Sacramento was able to dish out 27 assists as the presence of Sabonis once again loomed large.

Sabonis finished the night with a team-high seven assists, while recently-acquired Donte DiVincenzo dropped five dimes of his own in the win.

For the second-straight game, the Kings fell behind early but showed some resilience and fight by figuring things out to not only keep things from spiraling out of control, but secure a win in the process.

As bad as the defense was during the first half, it was just as–or more so–impressive during the second half as defenders swarmed Washington for the final two quarters of play.

If Sacramento is to forge a path forward into the thick of the Western Conference Play-In race, picking up wins like the previous two games is exactly what needs to be done if they are to try and rectify the awful stretch of games from last month.

It’s not too late.

Head coach Alvin Gentry said postgame that the team has played poorly, but there is some comfort in knowing that the team still holds controls its own destiny.

Two games, two wins. That’s an ideal start to the postseason push.

Rounding Out The Box Score

De’Aaron Fox topped the 20-point mark for the fourth-straight game on Saturday, scoring 26 points on 10-of-21 shooting to go along with four assists.

Like Fox, Harrison Barnes red-hot streak continued during the win as the veteran forward enjoyed his fifth-straight game with 20 points or more.

Barnes has been doing a lot of his damage on limited field goal attempts, finishing the night seven-of-nine from the field while scoring 21 points. The 29-year-old is dangerous on drives to the basket and has proved that he can get to the line with ease after attempting at least nine free-throw attempts over the past five games.

Moe Harkless caught fire in the first half, as the veteran forward scored 15 points on a perfect four-of-four shooting from the field and three-of-three shooting from beyond the three-point line to go along with four rebounds.

The 28-year-old finished the night with 17 points and eight boards–his fourth game with 10+ points over his previous five appearances.

Domantas Sabonis posted his 36th double-double of the season to put a cherry on top of Saturday’s win as the center scored 16 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and finished with seven assists over 34 minutes.

Justin Holiday added 12 points on four-of-six shooting from beyond the arc, while Chimezie Metu added 10 points and seven rebounds off of the bench.

In his first game as a Sacramento King, Donte DiVincenzo finished with seven points, two rebounds, five assists and one steal over 19 minutes.

The NCAA and NBC champion struggled to convert from the field (two-of-nine shooting), but the guard stated after the game that he is still in the midst of getting back into game-shape after missing the end of last season and beginning of this season due to ankle surgery.

DVincenzo, whom almost was acquired during a failed sign-and-trade that would have sent former Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic to Milwaukee, said postgame that he was excited to hear that he was coming to Sacramento when news broke that he was being traded.

The Kings will slowly bring the 25-year-old along, but there is no doubt that DiVincenzo will play a big role on this team as they build a case for a postseason berth.

Injury Report

  • Moe Harkless returned to action following a one-game absence due to a right ankle sprain.
  • Jeremy Lamb was a late scratch due to left ankle soreness. Lamb is considered day-to-day.
  • Terence Davis will be re-evaluated in two-to-three months after undergoing successful surgery to repair a right wrist ECU tendon injury.

Coming Up

The Kings will continue their three-game road-trip on Monday afternoon when they face the Brooklyn Nets in a Valentine’s Day showdown at Barclays Center.

Sacramento snapped a seven-game losing streak back during a 112-101 win over the Nets at Golden 1 Center back on February 2nd. Brooklyn will be looking to snap a 10-game losing streak when they take the floor on Monday night.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Nets coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 3:00pm PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh & Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner prior to a 4:30pm PST tip-off from New York.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

  • February 14th @ Brooklyn Nets
  • February 16th @ Chicago Bulls
  • February 17th-23rd: NBA All-Star Break
  • February 24th vs Denver Nuggets
  • February 26th @ Denver Nuggets
  • February 28th @ Oklahoma City Thunder

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