Articles | Game Recap

Kings 103, Thunder 99: Delon Wright Does It All

The Kings did everything they could to give this game away late in the 4th quarter, but Delon Wright had other plans.

Kings fans were still waiting for final results from Tyrese Haliburton's MRI heading into the game tonight, but the biggest takeaway from Tuesday's matchup vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder was that the Kings were optimistic on the severity of Hali's injury following a Luke Walton pregame update.

Haliburton was also shown on the Kings broadcast standing up and talking with his teammates, which is not something you'd expect to see if there was fear of a real serious knee injury here.

Thankfully that optimism and speculation held true. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported shortly after the conclusion of tonight's game that the MRI revealed no ligament damage in Haliburton's knee, but he would likely miss the rest of the season. Great news, all things considered.

Alright, let's talk about the game that doesn't matter against two teams with wildly different starting lineups than they entered the season with. These are some end-of-season ass lineups if I ever saw them, and the game had that kind of energy to it.

 

Despite injuries and other lineup weirdness, the Kings have a more talented roster than OKC when healthy, and had a more talented unhealthy roster than OKC tonight. Sacramento played like the better team for a majority of this contest, but turned in one of the most atrocious late 4th quarter performances you'll ever see and nearly gave this game back to the Thunder. They ultimately did not, and secured a sketchy 103-99 win.

I don't know what the Kings were doing in the final five minutes of this one, but it was all wrong. Early shots in the shot clock when bleeding time would have been the optimal move, bad threes, weird defense, and completely aimless play on both sides of the ball until Delon Wright bailed them out with what was essentially a game-winning layup.

Wright was good all night, contributing with real nice all around performance that included 13 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, and 4 blocks. Terence Davis and Buddy Hield led the Kings in scoring with 18 points each. It wasn't a particularly noteworthy night for the rest of the Sacramento's roster. Bagley and Holmes looked decent for stretches. Justin James poured in 13 points but was a -18 on the evening.

This was not a game you need to go back and rewatch if you missed it live.

The Kings were able to hold the Thunder's weak offense to just 99 points tonight, and that was the difference in this game. Despite the absence of Fox and Haliburton, the Kings still had enough scorers to put up points against the Thunder's G-League defense.

This was the only 5th time this season that Sacramento has held an opposing offense to under 100 points in regulation, and they are 5-0 in those games. The Kings only allowed 99 points vs. the Thunder tonight, and that's your ball game.

The Kings have inexplicably won their 3rd straight game without De'Aaron Fox, and improved to 28-37 on the season.

Next up: the Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday night.

 

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Jman1949
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May 4, 2021 7:53 pm

Would have been an embarrassing loss if we had not had the Wright stuff!

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Kosta
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May 5, 2021 6:35 am
Reply to  Jman1949

It’s too bad the Kings “chuck”ed Joerger.

1951
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May 5, 2021 9:39 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Instead we got an embarrassing win!

That was tough to watch with those two rosters. Oof.

RORDOG
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May 4, 2021 7:59 pm

its crazy the Kings 3rd string PG is basically an average starter in the NBA. Now they just need to figure out how to have similar depth on the wing.

itsjabby
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May 4, 2021 8:27 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I was just thinking this. Who would be your ideal target in the offseason at the wing position? Draft and free agency?

RORDOG
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May 4, 2021 8:55 pm
Reply to  itsjabby

I’m not really much of an expert on the draft. I basically just watch highlight videos and rate players based on how fun the highlights are. Jalen Johnson and Usman Garuba are two big wings I enjoyed watching though. They’re probably not in the Kings range, but who knows.

Free agency is kinda weird because we don’t really know how much they’ll be able to spend. I’d be fine with just re-signing Davis and Harkless, and signing Doug McDermott if they can afford him.

kings4ever
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May 5, 2021 9:03 am
Reply to  RORDOG

We already have Usman Garuba, his name is Robert Woodward. Why would we waste our pick on a duplicative player?

Jalen Johnson is #1 on my current draft board after Kuminga.

RAP87
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May 5, 2021 9:40 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Asperen Sengun is my pick if we’re choosing between 8th-10th.

I might even pick him before Jalen Johnson.

BestHyperboleEver
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May 5, 2021 11:21 am
Reply to  RAP87

I know RORDOG has been after Sabonis in the past. Sengun’s ultimate ceiling probably looks a lot Sabonis.

RORDOG
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May 5, 2021 12:51 pm

I feel like I kinda just saw Sengun highlights from before he got more lean, and that clouds my judgement. I saw a highlight of him doing a “360 dunk” recently, and it definitely seems like he’s more athletic now than he was last year. Before it was just boring post moves. It felt like I was watching Papagiannis highlights.

BestHyperboleEver
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May 5, 2021 1:15 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

He still isn’t very athletic. You hope he’s “athletic enough” to let his skills play. But unless that passing translates or he significantly improves his outside shooting, he’s more Kanter than anything.

RAP87
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May 5, 2021 1:26 pm

I’m thinking Nurkic with a better jumper. I’ve watched his highlights and most of his game is coming from the low post. But as mentioned by Schmidt he does shoot around 80% from the free throw line so there is a good chance he can expand his game from the outside. I did saw a recent workout video of him shooting from the outside and the shot looks really smooth. Plus he is still 18. I think he can be something really special in this league. Good foot work, good low post moves, looks agile around the rim, can shoot from the outside..

BestHyperboleEver
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May 5, 2021 9:29 am
Reply to  RORDOG

I was taking a closer look at Garuba the other day and did not come away impressed at all. If you’re looking for a 6’8+ “Big Wings” (though I wouldn’t categorize Garuba that way at all. I’d say he’s more of a traditional PF.), there are a number of guys that will likely be available deep in the 2nd round that I would take over him. Guys like Edwards, Champagnie, Herb Jones (though he might be 6’7-ish), Matt Mayer, Chris Smith. Even among young international Big Wings -guys, I’m more interested in Roco and Gui Santos than Garuba.

eddie41
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May 5, 2021 7:19 am
Reply to  itsjabby

Cade

Otis
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May 4, 2021 9:16 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

And find a superstar. 😘

RORDOG
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May 4, 2021 9:31 pm
Reply to  Otis

DeRozan is a free agent and one of the league leaders in points off drives this season!

SelecaoKOJ
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May 5, 2021 9:07 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Derozen would definitely make us a playoff team. He’s playing like he’s still got 2-3 good years left.

kings4ever
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May 5, 2021 9:00 am
Reply to  Otis

Remember yesterday when you presumed the worst about Ty, and I, the voice of reason and wisdom around these parts, expressed the exact opposite, including lengthy exposition as to why? Gee, how did that turn out?

I am not tooting my horn, I am just reminding you of your continuously poor track record of opinion making. And the only reason you insist Fox is not a Superstar is stubborness; it is certainly not intellectual integrity, when the guy LEADS the NBA in 4th quarter scoring. That is what superstars do, they takeover in the crunch.

And even if you do not want to proclaim Fox a superstar yet, he is definitely on the FAST TRACK to superstardom, that is obvious to anyone with intellectual integrity and functioning eyeballs. Your reticence to this obvious development is borderline trolling, which is mildly amusing and annoying.

Your identity on the forum is seemingly invested in being the anti-Fox fan. Is that a hill you really want to die on? Sad!

Want-to-be-gm
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May 5, 2021 9:24 am
Reply to  kings4ever

It all depends on how you define Superstar. I think a superstar is a top 10 player who has sustained that performance for multiple years. Fox is not at that level yet but I do agree some on this site under rate Fox. I think Fox needs to be compared to players closer to his seniority. That would be Mitchell, SGA, Morant, Young, Ball, Sexton etc. You can’t compare him to players like Harden, Curry, Lillard, Westbrook, Paul, Irving etc. He’s hasn’t accomplished anything close to those guys yet.

BestHyperboleEver
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May 5, 2021 9:30 am
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

I’d put him around 4-5 in your list of Mitchell, SGA, Morant, Young, Ball, Sexton.

Last edited 1 year ago by BestHyperboleEver
MyNeighborTurturro
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May 4, 2021 8:26 pm

This season needs to wrap it up. The tiny peaks and Lovecraftian-deep lows of the last several months have now just turned me into an apathetic lump. I’ve gone from “maybe they’ve got something here” to “TANK!” to “well, maybe that stupid tenth-seed thing might work out” to “TANK!” all over again, and now my best case scenario is dumping the inevitable 10th pick and Bags off for some kind of talent this summer. Que sera, sera.

arbexfernando
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May 5, 2021 4:20 am

Bilingual

Kosta
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May 5, 2021 6:38 am
Reply to  arbexfernando

Amphibious!

deepshot22
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May 4, 2021 8:35 pm

Trade Fox!

Am I doing this right?

deepshot22
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May 4, 2021 8:36 pm

‘Rese done for the regular season. What about the playoffs? Play-ins? Shits confusing.

MidtownMike
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May 4, 2021 9:08 pm

That Roby guy looks like a stud…



WizsSox
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May 4, 2021 10:05 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

Hold on…are you saying you wouldn’t trade the 7th pick in the draft for he and Maledon ??? I question you talent observations ; )

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
MidtownMike
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May 5, 2021 10:34 am
Reply to  WizsSox

I know, wild

RikSmits
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May 4, 2021 10:08 pm

Question to Will or another member of the Church of Pokusevskology; by how much would the Kings have lost if Poku would have played?

DutchKingsFanInUK
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May 5, 2021 1:55 am

I was genuinely touched when Justin James hit a three early in the fourth quarter, a time-out was called and Buddy ran up the floor to show his love for JJ.

Also, why on earth did I watch this game?

GFunkClassic
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May 5, 2021 2:15 am

Bazley was the only one who stood out to me on their team. I must eat some crow. Earlier in the season I scoffed and said Thunder would trade Bazley for Bagley, someone called me on it…we went back and forth a bit. Definitely at this juncture I would take Bazley over Bagley. He has a tighter dribble and quicker attack than Bagley. Versitle and long on defense. But Bazley is more of a 3. I think Bazley as a big gets eaten down low defensively. I dostill think Bagley’s ceiling is higher overall and if continues to put in the work, and most importantly stay healthy, he’ll be the better player.

Want-to-be-gm
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May 5, 2021 9:08 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

That is a such a good depiction of Bazley and comparison to Bagley. It wasn’t me you were debating but prior to Bagley’s injury, I said Bazley was ahead of Bagley but the gap was closing. I also agree that’s is possible Bagley has a higher ceiling with the caveat he can stay healthy. I’ve seen almost every OKC game this season and prior to them going into full tank mode, they were a very competitive team. They shut down SGA and Horford and started playing guys very deep into their roster and they are not playing with the same fight they were earlier in the season. There is a ton of raw talent on the roster and to me the most interesting franchise in the NBA right now with all their draft capital.

MidtownMike
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May 5, 2021 10:35 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Man I wanted Bazley in that draft

andy_sims
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May 5, 2021 11:10 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Zees over gees!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
May 5, 2021 6:59 am

1) Who is Gabriel Deck and how can the Kings get him. I just found myself watching him off ball for like 10 minutes. That guy seems to get it. He was physical, head on a swivel, and had a confidence about him. OKC may have found themselves a diamond there. I also notice they locked him up for 4 years on the cheap!

2)The Kings are going to finish 1 game out of the play-in tournament and the worst lottery position (10th) of the non play-in teams, aren’t they?

andy_sims
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May 5, 2021 11:12 am
Reply to  Adamsite

He did look really good, but evaluating players based on action against the Kings can result in some rough sledding. End-of-bench guys frequently look like hall-of-famers.

Gregoryl
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May 5, 2021 8:26 am

Buddy did his best to keep the tank going in the last couple minutes…keep up that decision-making Buddy and we’ll get it right!

SelecaoKOJ
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May 5, 2021 9:01 am

Can the Spurs just upset the Jazz tonite. Kings lose against the Pacers. No more Playin crap talk. So, Kings can prepare for another pick in the 10-12 range.

Bill2455
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May 5, 2021 10:41 am

I guess the Kings G-League team is not disbanded. Why pay NBA ticket prices for minor league games?

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