Trey Lyles explains the Sacramento Kings recent self-inflicted losses

Jan 17, 2024, 3:42 PM

Trey Lyles #41 of the Sacramento Kings brings the ball up court during the game against the Memphis...

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 31: Trey Lyles #41 of the Sacramento Kings brings the ball up court during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on December 31, 2023 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings returned from their five-game road trip and held a practice the day after Tuesday’s game in Phoenix. Throughout the road trip, they came away with a 2-3 record, but Trey Lyles explained their frustration with feeling like they left a couple of potential wins on the table.

“That’s a trip we could have went 4-1 on,” he said. “It was self-inflicted, so it makes it harder to get over when they’re self-inflicted losses like that.”

Their historically bad collapse against the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night included 14 turnovers from the Kings, with eight coming in the fourth quarter.

Sacramento led by 21 points with just under nine minutes to play, and it looked all but officially over. The aforementioned turnovers and Phoenix going ‘small’ with Kevin Durant at center threw off their rhythm. Lyles said he doesn’t think that should have impacted them to the extent it did.

“Our rotations just weren’t there,” he said. “We weren’t locked in defensively, and guys were just getting open looks, and they were knocking them down.”

YouTube video

Missed free throws have been a hot topic lately, specifically after their recent loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, where they missed three crucial ones in the final seconds of overtime — leaving enough room for Damian Lillard to knock down a game-winning three as the clock hit zero.

Yet, it’s been a season-long issue for the Kings. Their 73.1 percent conversion rate from the line currently ranks dead last among NBA teams. When asked about potential reasoning, Lyles admitted he was unsure.

“I couldn’t tell you,” he said about the issue. “When we step up to the line, we’re not making our free throws, which is something I think we all think if we were better at, we’d have a couple more wins this year.”

Every practice, the Kings shoot plenty of free throws. It’s not like they don’t practice those shots — every team around the league does, and they are no exception.

It’s an 82-game long season, and Sacramento has 42 remaining on their schedule. Leaving no time to soak in the losses has its pros and cons, but it’s the nature of it. With the Indiana Pacers (who traded for Pascal Siakam earlier today) coming into Golden 1 Center Thursday night, that’s where their focus has turned to.

“We’ve got a game tomorrow, so we’ve got to let it go and learn from our mistakes, watch film, and know what we’ve got to do better and go out there and perform,” Trey Lyles said. “Next game up. So, we’ve got to be ready for tomorrow’s game.”

The Pacers currently hold an identical 23-17 record to the Kings, and new-addition Siakam is not expected to be available.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will return to Northern California for a brief two-game homestand before hitting the road for a seven-game trip.

The Kings will face a shorthanded Indiana Pacers team that will be without old friend and All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton (hamstring).

While Indiana will be without Haliburton, they still have the firepower to make life difficult for Sacramento, thanks to an offense that leads the NBA in points per game and offensive rating.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Pacers coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from Golden 1 Center.

Upcoming Schedule

  • Thursday, January 18th – Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Monday, January 22nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, January 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, January 27th – Sacramento Kings @ Dallas Mavericks – 6:00 PM PST
  • Monday, January 29th – Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies – 5:00 PM PST

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Trey Lyles explains the Sacramento Kings recent self-inflicted losses