For what feels like the millionth time, but at least for the final time this season, the Sacramento Kings played the Los Angeles Lakers tonight. You know what that means. It's time to feel things again. And when I say "things", I specifically and exclusively mean HATE. No matter how apathetic I may feel about this Kings team, I will always resurrect from the dead to hate the Los Angeles Lakers with every neuron of my being. I already have 2,002 good reasons to hate them, but as Will pointed out in his preview this afternoon, music superstar, Halsey, gave me yet another branch to stoke the flame of hate in my heart for tonight. Imagining the amount of delusion and audacity it takes to think that being a Lakers fan is painful makes my blood boil in a different way. Needless to say, I wanted the Kings to win this game tonight, even if it was just for the sake of the Lakers losing. Let's see if they came through for me:
Outcome: Kings win, 125-116
Sacramento Kings: 125 pts, 55.1% fg, 36.7% 3 pt, 84.2% ft, 28 ast, 45 reb, 13 to
Los Angeles Lakers: 116 pts, 42.9% fg, 34.0% 3 pt, 66.7% ft, 25 ast, 45 reb, 9 to
Hate wins!!! Wow, this felt really good. The Sacramento Kings broke their losing streak by overcoming a 14-point deficit and beating the Los Angeles Lakers at home amidst a crowd of crying bandwagon fans wearing purple and gold jerseys and despite the referees best efforts to give the game to the Lakers. That is the most satisfying run on sentence I have ever written in my life. If anything can thaw this frozen heart, it's a solid Kings win over the Lakers.
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
- Third Quarter (Yes, the THIRD Quarter): The Kings have long been plagued by their third quarter struggles and it is often when we see the game get away from them. Going into the second half, the Kings trailed by six points after giving up 34 and 33 points in the first two quarters. Instead of the usual sluggish response, the Kings came out firing. And they did it the right way. It started on the defensive end when the Kings began to get handsy in passing lanes and force turnovers. They took it even a step further and turned these stolen possessions into quick transition points that ultimately totaled to a 20-4 run to give the Kings a swing to a 12-point lead. De'Aaron Fox capitalized on the lack of rim protection from the Lakers' small lineup and found his way to the rim a handful of times, scoring 10 of his 29 points in the third period. Overall, the Kings showed a recognition on both ends of the floor that digging in on defense and attacking the rim on offense could get them back on top. They outscored the Lakers 40-23 as a result.
- Closing Out All Four Quarters: The Kings had solid finishes to every quarter tonight. In the first, we got a great sequence from Davion Mitchell who bodied up to Russell Westbrook on defense on one end and then recorded a highlight reel on the other end by putting Austin Reaves in a blender and hitting a soft floater. In the second, it was again Mitchell who provided a strong defensive presence on the ball and a sweet left handed finish at the rim. De'Aaron Fox also topped it off with another well-executed bucket and cut the deficit to just six points headed into the half. In the third, the Kings had another great defensive possession which resulted in a Fox to Buddy Hield transition 3-pointer to secure the 17-point swing and 11-point lead. Finally, in the fourth quarter, the Kings withstood the LeBron James (34 points) takeover, the Austin Reaves (19 points) & Malik Monk (22 points) shootout, and the referees' bias. While the Lakers were looking to rush the pace and take long shots, the Kings were disciplined enough to clean up the boards and not get rattled. They executed their offense well down the stretch and got open looks to finish the Lakers off.
- Sharing the Ball: The Kings finished with 28 assists total, but most impressive was that they achieved 23 of these in the first three quarters. When the Kings were climbing the comeback mountain and riding the wave of taking the lead, the ball was moving and assists were stacking up. It was not only fun to watch, but it was beautiful basketball. Having smaller lineups, with Alex Len only logging 18 minutes tonight, allowed the Kings to have more spacing for Tyrese Haliburton and De'Aaron Fox to find lanes to attack. Haliburton recorded another double double with 14 points and 10 assists.
- Offensive Boards: Despite going with a smaller lineup, the Lakers secured 15 offensive boards. Especially in the first half, where the Lakers grabbed 10 of them, the Kings failed to do the dirty work of locating bodies and boxing out. The second, third, and sometimes fourth opportunities they granted to the Lakers led to 20 Lakers' points in the first half alone. Luckily, they cleaned this up in the second half.
- Lakers Fans in G1C: It’s always annoying seeing so many Lakers jerseys in the crowd. Luckily the Kings quieted the away crowd and sent them running for the exits before the final buzzer.
The King of Kings
I think Harrison Barnes reads The Kings Herald. After Brenden Nunes published a very fair and detailed breakdown of his recent struggles, the Black Falcon rose to the challenge and responded in the best way tonight. Barnes finished with 23 points and seven rebounds and shot 3-6 from deep. He had a handful of big boy moves, including a huge rebound to conclude the Kings' final defensive possession. Welcome back, HB!
Friday, January 14th vs. Houston Rockets - 7:00 P.M. (PT)
Don’t trade anybody!
The players are good, maybe awesome.
Fox is a stud.
Hali is Magic Johnson
Metu is next level.
Damn, I can’t do this…
Bagley had 16 tonight. Max deal tomorrow. WE NEED HIM
”And you should love it, way more than you hate it.”
You can find me in the club (not at the Kings game).
I’m rooting for Vivek to be embarrassed by the the shitty product he’s put in the court each game, but I’m more than happy to slappy the L*kers any day!!!
Trust me, this win has made Vivek forget the last 2 months.
Don’t do it, you’re better than this. Shit. I must dance.
10th seed play in vs 9th seed Fakers. Who says yes? Fuck the Fakers!
Mike from EDH?
I’m a basketball fan in general. Love seeing Lebron lose. Love seeing the Lakers lose. And I like seeing Kings win….I’ll enjoy the night
I wish someone would’ve made ugly faces and beat their chest in front of the fakers bench like James did last them we played them. Man I hate that guy.
Hey, a satisfying win.
Strange feeling, this is.
I’m saying it in Yoda voice.
Good third quarter. Westbrook is so bad! At least Monte didn’t pick up that contract
Thanks for the Westbrick shooting ability or lack of ! Sluck the Lakers !
Careful. If Vivek wants him, Monte might trade for him.
Is it more joyful for a Kings win or the Lakers losing ?
Thanks for the break Kangz. Now to see you give up 133 pts to HOU Friday.
“…running for the exits before the final buzzer.”
That’s a Los Angeles sports fan staple, right there.
“We just need to beat the traffic, maaan.”
You ARE the traffic, you poor simple fools!!!!!
That’s the only exercise they ever get. Wouldn’t want to deprive them. I wonder how many heart attack cases they get after a Fakers loss.
Haliburton-Fox-Barnes-Metu-Bagley matchup in the 4th was brilliant. And Buddy didn’t bail out. Nevertheless, I am not over Macho Grande. Those wounds run pretty deep.
Russell Westbrook is probably the best player in the entire NBA at hitting THAT shot.
– Kayte H
Being on league pass is a sad reminder of how poor this broadcast team is compared to most !
I thought I was just being a curmudgeon until my partner who literally can find good in a turd (the most optimistic person I know), walks into a game I’m watching and says ‘is this a real broadcast or are they joking?’. That sealed it for me.
This is the Marvin Bagley I would have hoped to have seen at this point in his second season.. I think the Kings played better under Christie…this team is not fun to watch, but at least they don’t have any douchenozzles on the team…
I was thinking the exact same thing about Bagley last night – if this was his second season and he was playing like this I think we would all be… well, maybe not *happy*, but at least hopeful that we had a long term starter.
In his 4th season, though, it is difficult to get excited.
He’s 22 and has played 142 games. Both of those things are pretty normal for a second year player. Eg Saddiq Bey is a month younger and has played 32 fewer career games than Bagley in his second year.
Bagley was drafted in the wrong round by the wrong team.
He needs a real fresh start some place else.
I really enjoy your writing. I’ve worked in publications as an editor/writer for decades. You’ve got a great voice. Your writing is loose and fun, but not over the top — you report the details, too.
Fun read. “Hate wins!!!” Indeed.
Thank you so much! Truly means more to me than you could ever know.
Keep it up, Mirann! You are a treasure.
Today is a good day.
I repeat, do not be fooled! I repeat, do not be fooled!
Eh whatever, it’s just the Lakers. Nobody important really, just another win.
PLAYs of the day..
First of all, Barnes did a really good job….
Always hustle for offensive rebound…hitting some 3….play good defense…
and I love the below two moves by Barnes…
What a layup against L. James…
He fight for the defensive rebound among the Fakers..and able to save the ball and pass to the teammate.
Below is another possession I like..
Look at James…not able to stay in front of Fox, and forced to hard him hard…
(Really enjoyed the face expression and the frustration from James)
p.s. Bagley did have a good game…he did get fouled hard by James on the 2nd strip…
p.s. 2. I love Metu….
The postgame shots fired by the broadcast crew made me laugh. During the recap somebody in the crowd yelled out “Matt Barnes for Bagley” to which Kenny Thomas replied “I’ll support that”.
Per Woj: Reddish to the Knicks. So, thats one less player who would have been great in Sac, and one less team we could trade a forward to.
Yeah, he would have been fun to watch.
Wait, you’re telling me that NBA teams can trade players right now? Huh. Maybe their green light is greener than ours.
Trying maintain the level of excellence required to reach the play in. We are too close to disrupt the culture of the team.
SS&R is pissed, so today is a good day.
Most of them want to dump Westbrick yesterday, or at least full-time replace him with Reaves.
I love L*ker fan angst. It makes me happy.
I hope those fans have the strength to get through such dark and tough times!
Man, it’s been a lean season and a half since their last title!
It must really suck to be part of a fanbase that has such high expectations.
Marty- have you seen the stickers people have made with President Biden smiling with “I did That”
I think you should create a photo of Vivek smiling and pointing with “ I did that”. So when we have a loss we can use the photo/sticker or when we talk about 15 years of Kangz we can use the Vivek sticker/photo/meme.. it would be fun for a while too bad I was t independently wealthy … I would get a billboard with our record and a picture of Vivek pointing to it with “I did that”
Why independence? We can ALL make #BILLBOARD
Another night at G1C where the majority of the fans go home unhappy. That said,
Fox after crushing the Lakers, patiently awaiting a trade