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Kings 128, Clippers 127: Clippers Fox Around and Find Out

Cardiac Kings do it again!!!
By | 117 Comments | Mar 3, 2023

Mar 3, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox (5) scores a basket against Los Angeles Clippers point guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Beam Boys came back in town after a well deserved two nights off. With the chance to extend their winning streak to five games, the only thing that stood in their way was the revenge-seeking Los Angeles Clippers. Just a week ago, these two teams put on the game of the year in a 176-175 Kings’ double overtime victory. It’s hard to imagine how tonight’s matchup could top that performance, but I would be satisfied with just a good old regulation Kings’ win. Let’s see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings win, 128-127

Sacramento Kings: 128 pts, 52.9% fg, 30.3% 3pt, 100% ft, 26 ast, 45 reb, 11 to

Los Angeles Clippers: 127 pts, 54.0% fg, 34.1% 3pt, 70.4% ft, 31 ast, 32 reb, 7 to

Basketball gods, have mercy!!! I mean, I guess they technically granted my wish and got it done in regulation, but my heart rate can’t really tell the difference. In what felt like a nauseating mirrored ending from last Friday’s game, the Kings gave up a nine point lead with under four minutes to go and found themselves trailing by one point with 20 seconds remaining. But as we’ve come to know and love, Sacramento never quits. In a full scramble defense, the Kings forced the Clippers to turn the ball over with a cross court pass from Eric Gordon that slipped through Russell Westbrook’s fingers. In the remaining 15 seconds, De’Aaron Fox got a good midrange look that bounced off the rim, but Domantas Sabonis crashed the boards and got fouled in the process. Sabonis iced the game with two made free throws, Paul George missed the final step back 3-pointer, and that was game, folks. So, for the FIFTH game in a row: LIGHT THAT BEAM.

The Good, The Better, & The Best
The Good
  1. Free Throws: The Kings shot a perfect 26-26 from the stripe, and as you can tell by the score, they needed every last one of them. De’Aaron Fox and Harrison Barnes led the team with eight free throws a piece, and Domantas Sabonis completed the perfect line with his last two that sealed their win.
  2. Huerter Heater: Kevin Huerter had a moment in the 2nd quarter tonight. After exiting early with three fouls in the 1st quarter, he returned later to make sure he made his mark before the end of the half. In the span of two minutes, Huerter scored 11 points, from every level of the floor. He started it with a smooth midrange catch and shoot jumper, followed it up with back to back 3-pointers, and completed the sequence with three made free throws after getting fouled on his heat check. It’s always a great sign for the Kings when Ke’Von makes an appearance.
The Better
  1. Defensive Execution: The Kings showed an early intention of slowing Paul George down. They sent extra coverage whenever he got the ball within the arc and forced it back out of his hands. This tactic held him to just six points on 2-4 from the field in the 1st half. George ultimately finished with 28 points, but the bulk of that came later in the game when great shotmakers just make great shots. The Kings did a good job executing early to make sure he didn’t drop another 40 piece on them tonight. Sacramento also showcased their zone defense a handful of times and it got them some significant stops. Most impressive to me, though, was the consistent defensive intensity throughout the whole game. It felt like Kings’ jerseys were flying all over the court for all 48 minutes.
The best
  1. Gettin’ Scrappy: From the jump, Russell Westbrook was running his mouth. It was clear he was making a concerted effort to get into the Kings’ defense, paint, and heads. He was successful in some ways – he finished with 27 points and 10 assists – but ultimately, the Kings responded with just as much confidence and force. All five of the Kings’ starters, along with Trey Lyles, finished in double digits in scoring. Keegan Murray, Kevin Huerter, and Lyles all hit efficiently from deep, combining for 9-17. Harrison Barnes had a demonstrative 20 points and seven rebounds. And, of course, Domantas Sabonis recorded his 50th double double of the season with 23 points and 10 rebounds. While the Clippers looked to intimidate and turn this into a scrappy battle, the Kings didn’t back down a single inch and instead put the Clippers back on their heels for most of the game.
The King of Kings

The Clippers did indeed Fox around and find out tonight. Spearheaded by Russell Westbrook’s insistence on carrying on an open dialogue with De’Aaron Fox all night long, the Clippers poked the Fox and woke him up in a big way. Leading the team with 33 points, Fox logged his 8th 30+ point game and had another electrifying performance. There were multiple stretches throughout the 2nd half where the Clippers had no answer for Fox’s speed, craftiness, and creativity in the paint. Although it was a rare night where Mr. Clutch wasn’t the one to make the final winning shot, please do not take this man for granted. He is special.

Up Next

Saturday, March 4th vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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Kosta
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March 3, 2023 10:16 pm

This would make for a fun playoff series matchup.

TheBaker
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March 3, 2023 10:28 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Whole-heartedly agree.
In fact, I think I want to see it happen.

NorCalKingsFan
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March 3, 2023 10:32 pm
Reply to  TheBaker

my heart disagrees – it won’t make it through 4 games of this much less 7

BeTheBall
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March 3, 2023 11:38 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

Give the Clippers a little credit. They can win at least 1.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 4, 2023 8:19 am
Reply to  Kosta

Not if the Clips are healthy. They were down three starters last night. The Kings don’t win a single game in a series if they too are down three starters.

murraytant
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March 4, 2023 9:58 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Down 4 of top 6- Zubac, Morris, Leonard and Powell but Kings generally play to level of competition.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 4, 2023 10:18 am
Reply to  murraytant

They do, but they’ve also been healthy. There is no way the Kings win a 7 game series against any of the top 10 teams in the west if they are down 4 of their 8 man rotation. They just snuck out a win against a team down numerous players while also starting two guys new to the team. I still think this Clippers team, if healthy, will make some noise come playoffs. They might one of the few teams (other being the Dubs) I don’t want the Kings facing in round 1 of the playoffs.

Kosta
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March 4, 2023 11:02 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Adam, I don’t get why the need to argue this:

There is no way the Kings win a 7 game series against any of the top 10 teams in the west if they are down 4 of their 8 man rotation. 

That would be true of any team. And it’s just a hypothetical, dreaming up a worst-case scenario.

As it is, they are healthy. That’s the reality right now, until it isn’t. If it happens, then I would worry of course. But why worry about a hypothetical doomsday scenario?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 4, 2023 11:13 am
Reply to  Kosta

Oh, I’m not worried about it. It was all in reply to the Kings narrowly beating the Clips who are currently devastated with injuries. It was just in response to you mentioning it would be a fun Clips/Kings playoff series. My point was just that I don’t want to see that if the Clips are healthy.

Simply put, if it’s fun now against a team missing half of their rotation, I don’t think it would be fun if they were fully healthy.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 19
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March 3, 2023 10:21 pm

This season is so unreal. I can’t believe how fast this team has turned around from being so bad to so good.

And the Grizzlies lost to the Nuggets! Only one game behind for the 2nd seed now!

Marty
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March 3, 2023 10:25 pm

I was told there would be no way they could catch the Grizzlies.

RikSmits
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March 3, 2023 10:25 pm

It’s a win. An important win. Another narrow win, but a win nonetheless. We keep finding ways to win. That’s a win-win in my book of wins.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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March 4, 2023 5:26 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Win

Kingsguru21
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March 4, 2023 7:03 am
Reply to  RikSmits

That’s getting to be a pretty big book you got there Dutchman. Best find a dais or sumpin to put far dere book thingy on so you don’t have to carry it around all the time.

Last edited 11 months ago by Kingsguru21
RikSmits
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March 4, 2023 7:15 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

What if it’s an e-book?

Kingsguru21
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March 4, 2023 7:44 am
Reply to  RikSmits

🤔 🤔 🤔

Efficient and effective. I’ll allow it. Carry on.

BeTheBall
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March 3, 2023 10:34 pm

Russell Westbrook with an NBA record 5 beams lit against.

Amonk81
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March 3, 2023 11:03 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I have no idea why anyone would think Russ to the Clippers (or any team looking to win) is a good idea. I could see only as a limited role 6th man.

WB is great at helping other teams beat the Clippers. Makes losing plays like it’s going out of style…thank you Russ.

It looks like perhaps teams will double Fox in end of game situation as we near/head into the playoffs. I’d like to see what the kings do to counter. To figure it out. Probably running it through Sabonis and maybe Monk will suffice.

BeTheBall
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March 3, 2023 11:39 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I’m contemplating getting a custom Kings #0 Westbrook jersey. He’s been pretty solid for us this season.

Daydreamer
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March 4, 2023 7:29 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I’m thinking that Mike and the other coaches will use the near-collapse at the end as a learning tool about how to counter pressure defense to prepare the Kings for the intense defense of the playoffs.

Isn’t it wonderful to be having thoughts such as these?!!

Amonk81
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March 4, 2023 10:33 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

It is weird and great.

Ellis5
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March 4, 2023 7:58 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Yes Monk and Fox on the floor could counter that.

RPO
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March 4, 2023 1:06 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Only the Kings are lighting a beam as far as I know but I’m figuring it’s just a matter of time before other teams copycat with some sort of post-win lighting thing.

Comments_404
March 4, 2023 6:44 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Eric Gordon in shambles…lol.

Last edited 11 months ago by Comments_404
Jman1949
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March 4, 2023 10:24 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Eric Gordon has 6 b.l.a.

BeTheBall
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March 4, 2023 10:47 am
Reply to  Jman1949

DOH, I’ve been lied to!!

Jman1949
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March 4, 2023 11:30 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

comment image&ct=g

Jman1949
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March 3, 2023 10:38 pm

Clippers since the All-star break…

comment image&ct=g

UpgradedToQuestionable
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March 3, 2023 10:57 pm

How come I sweat when I watch this team?

Absolutely agree with Good #1- The Kings go an amazing 26/26 (100%) from the line to the LAC going 19/27 (71%) and that was difference in this game as the Clips had more FGs and more 3FGs.

Many feel that the “real season” begins after the ASG. Your Sacramento Kings ate 5-0. Clips are 0-5.

Pretty frikkin’ amazing. LIGHT THE BEAM! and dance:
comment image&ct=g

Last edited 11 months ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
Nodaclu
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March 4, 2023 12:38 am

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there are 7 teams in the league right now that are simply a cut above everyone else…

…and the Kings are one of them.

Last edited 11 months ago by Nodaclu
RikSmits
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March 4, 2023 7:50 am
Reply to  Nodaclu

In my view there are 3 teams that are a cut above the rest (MIL, BOS, DEN), and then there’s a second tier with not that much seperation from the third tier (but time is running out).

And why 7, not 8?

ForKingsandCountry
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March 4, 2023 12:48 am

The Clippers just hard doubling Fox at half court was interesting and definitely screwed the Kings up the last few minutes. That said, I’ll take the win however we can get it. I really thought there was a chance we may drop back to the play-in game, but 5-0 out of the break is pretty damn impressive. At this point, we’d have to completely collapse to be in the play-in. And we broke the Clippers so that’s fun.

Tomorrow is another huge game and a win might guarantee us a top-6 seed. Both teams are on the second of a back to back so no excuses. Should be a fun one. The Wolves actually scare me more than most teams in the West.

Hobby916
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March 4, 2023 5:45 am

I am glad that the Clippers showed that with so many games left. Now Coach can execute a plan to counter when it happens again. He probably already has been working on that, but now there is film and game reps for the players.

murraytant
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March 4, 2023 10:07 am

Kings have a sort of gimmick offense- standard but unusual in that there is a minimum of PnR and all DHO. They run the same stuff all the time.
Defenses are responding: some pressure the DHO- strong hedge- that hurt Huerter, others use zone and that has had an effect and thrown Kings off and third have doubled Fox like last night- an early effect.
GSW will use a box and one. Need to prepare for that. When Fox gets doubled, he needs to back out, hit one open man and then Kings have 4 on 3. Zone requires a flash to the middle but Kings have been slow to do that. Pressuring the DHO opens up back door cuts.

Tonight- Gobert has given DS some trouble and Edwards hits a ton of shots.
One at a time.

RPO
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March 4, 2023 1:04 am

Clips fans will point out that we beat them by only one point each of the last two games. Kings fans will point out who cares, we beat you each of the last two games. On to the next tough game…

BeTheBall
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March 4, 2023 9:34 am
Reply to  RPO

Which is weird because I don’t think their is a column in the standings for 1-point losses.

murraytant
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March 4, 2023 10:09 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

in some people’s minds there is and a column for “not fair, we got cheated”.
But the playoffs don’t take any of that into consideration and don’t care about 40 point wins or stupid “Curry flurries”

BeTheBall
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March 4, 2023 10:09 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

stupid autocorrect

UpgradedToQuestionable
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March 4, 2023 7:05 am

I gotta laugh at this-

Maybe because it’s still early, but the Sacramento Kings are a dozen wins above the .500 line with 20 to go and there are only 20 comments here.

It seems that folks seem to be getting used to the Kings winning! It’s not the novelty it was earlier this year.

Mike Brown and staff, Monte McNair and Wes, Domantas, De’Aaron, Harrison, Kevin and Keegan and the rest of the Beam Bench have made us believers!

There’s plenty of season ahead to figure out where Sac fits as this race heads into the stretch (a very tough March with 15 games more) but what a great season to be a Kings fan.

Kingsguru21
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March 4, 2023 7:41 am

Maybe because it’s still early, but the Sacramento Kings are a dozen wins above the .500 line with 20 to go and there are only 20 comments here.

The people who are used to checking Tankathon and all those other sites aren’t commenting. The guy who keeps predicting the Kings will lose doesn’t comment these days. Around these parts, Kangz Kangz Kangz is all alot of these fans know or understand. Rooting for a good team isn’t something many are accustomed to and doesn’t generate conversation as people are, for better or worse, satisfied.

Needless to say, I’m not surprised.

Last edited 11 months ago by Kingsguru21
RobHessing
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March 4, 2023 9:27 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Or, it’s Friday night / Saturday morning. /Shrugs

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 4, 2023 10:20 am
Reply to  RobHessing

This. I didn’t check in here today until I had my coffee and hung out with the family for a bit.

Kingsguru21
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March 4, 2023 12:22 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Not if there was some drama to discuss. There would be lots of commentary. There’s not enough reason to log on when A) the team is winning and B) your gripes don’t carry much weight at this point in time.

This site felt more active in the first two weeks when the team was under 500 than it does now.

RobHessing
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March 4, 2023 2:05 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Over 100 comments now. /Shrugs again

Kingsguru21
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March 4, 2023 2:40 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

With how many commenators? And how many of them are consistently commenting?

I think there’s a vareity of reasons why, that include the timing, there’s less comments than what Flatus originally pointed out. Certainly some, like yourself and Adam, choose to do other things first (thankfully) than log on to here and start commenting. I usually do it when sipping coffee.

But there’s a portion, larger than anyone like to admit, that simply only comments when there is a negative vibe about this team.

If you want to argue this is a bit of column A/B, by all means. I agree 100%. But ignoring B to highlight A doesn’t do anyone any good either, which is my point.

RobHessing
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March 4, 2023 3:26 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again: The only thing funnier than fans calling out other fans for commenting is fans calling out fans for NOT commenting.

Go Kings!

Kingsguru21
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March 4, 2023 3:42 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

This isn’t telling anyone how to fan, and by summarizing it that way your intent is simply to silence my voice rather than engage in an conversation.

Duly noted.

murraytant
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March 4, 2023 10:13 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I know Tankathon still exists because I look for strength of schedule which is sort of false anyway.
Early on this year, I was exhilarated with a win. Now while the exhilaration still exists, there is a relief. Just keep going. A win stops any other team from catching the Kings. The second seed is closer than the 4th. Yikes.

Daydreamer
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March 4, 2023 7:33 am

Was PG fouled on his last shot? He claimed he was hit on the arm.

Adamsite
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March 4, 2023 8:10 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

I didn’t see it. I know PG passively complained he was hit on the arm. If he were truly fouled on the last play of the game, he would have been more animated, as well as his coaching staff.

murraytant
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March 4, 2023 10:14 am
Reply to  Adamsite

the old save face trick I think

oshima9
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March 4, 2023 9:44 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

He wasn’t. Fox avoided contact.

murraytant
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March 4, 2023 10:14 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

yes and Luka and the little dancing fool from GSW claim a foul on every play too and some pt in a claim during warmups.
no foul. no harm.

ArcoThunder
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March 4, 2023 6:25 pm
Reply to  Daydreamer

Who cares. If he was then we can consider that 1 small bill paid on an incredibly large debt.

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March 4, 2023 7:56 am

Free throws won this game. Rarely does a team gut out a win when they are out shot from the field and from three, out assisted, and looses the turnover battle. A perfect 26-26 from the line carried the Kings to the finish line.

Hat tip to Huerter who could have checked out his one with the 3 early fouls. The fact that he came back with 18 points in 22 minutes is impressive, IMO.

MichaelMack
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March 4, 2023 10:51 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I dont know about this Clipper team, and their playoff ambitions. For one, whenever you have to qualify a team with “on paper” or “if healthy”, well, games are not played on paper and you built your team around two superstars whose injuries define their careers as much as their accomplishments in Leonard and George. Two of their key players, Batum and Gordon, and Powell too honestly, look like they all have hired Jared Dudley as their trainer. How is this team going to be able to play 20+ more intense games after the season ends?

Their late game execution has been a problem all season, and they brought in maybe the worst clutch time decision maker in the game in Westbrook for the stretch. Lue has had trouble getting continuity all season long trying to fit twelve guys and load management into a workable system, then they bring in four new guys, three of them start right away, and a 19 year old who comes in an fires eight three pointers in twelve minutes in what should have been for them a very big game.

It makes me wonder if Lue has a handle on the team, or if it was all just a very expensive experiment that didn’t work. Leonard succeeded in Pop’s culture and system, then was able to shine in Toronto that had a strong culture and system, maybe without that his stoicism and inability to play consistently just isnt the straw that stirs a finals contending drink.

Interesting components, and certainly somewhat dangerous, and while they certainly could put together a dangerous run or be dangerous in a series, I don’t have much faith that they will.

Ialmostmissthemaloofs
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March 4, 2023 9:21 am

Awesome win. It’s the kind of grit that you need in the playoffs, which I fully believe we will be seeing. And don’t look now, but here come the Warriors… on a 5 game winning streak of their own. The west is looking very interesting.

krswin
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March 4, 2023 9:21 am

Go Kings!! Bring on the ‘wolves.

Kingsguru21
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March 4, 2023 9:23 am

1st Qtr: ORtg: 117.0 (6th) DRtg: 118.0 (25th)Net Rtg -1.0 (20th)
2nd Qtr: ORtg: 118.0 (5th) DRtg: 117.0 (25th) Net Rtg: 1.1 (15th)
3rd Qtr: ORtg: 118.7 (5th) DRtg: 116.4 (21st) Net Rtg: 2.3 (10th)
4th Qtr: ORtg: 118.2 (2nd) DRtg: 110.9 (9th) Net Rtg: 7.3 (2nd)

All these stats are from NBA.com.

Having said all that, I’m wondering how Mike Brown and staff could get this defense to stiffen up even to league average. Surely they, and the players, know all this stuff. I’m wondering if the answer is time, and the unicorn everybody wants. Because that seems to be the consensus anyway.

Regardless, this team has a Net Rtg of +2.8 good for 8th on the season. They might be overachieving some, but it seems like this team rises to the occasion. What I find especially encouraging is the trend of getting better as the game wears on.

We complain about the officiating (which is the problem) but the reality is this team does get to the line 2 1/2 times more than their opponents. On average. They turn the ball over at a league average rate, but turn their opponents over at a league average rate AND convert those turnovers into easy at the rim buckets. They arent top 5 in transition points scored (15.6 per game good for 8th) BUT are top 5 in least transition points allowed (11.5 per game which is 1st).

Take these two Clippers games. The Clippers in LA hit 26 3s but also committed 25 TOVs (18 of these were steals on the Kings part). Last night, the Clippers commit 7 TOVs (Kings 11) but only hit 14 3s several of which are desperation heaves that went in. The Clippers adjusted… but so do the Kings. And so when you do things differently, they adjust. The Kings don’t beat you offensively one way, and they are capable of adjusting on the fly far better than we’ve seen in the recent past.

Huerter largely didn’t affect the game… outside of that flurry that helped the Kings win the 2nd qtr. Monk didn’t affect the game a whole lot, but he helped the Kings get into offense after the Clippers had hard trapped De’Aaron in the late 4th and it really disrupted the Kings. Little things have made those two quietly turn a position of weakness in years past but now a position of strength. You have to defend Huerter and Monk very differently which is tough on opponents. You have to double team and trap De’Aaron hard to slow him down. The Clippers were desperate, got hectic and they nearly stole the game. In years past, they would have. But you simply can’t out-tough this team because mentally upstairs they possess the goods.

Oh, and my favorite part? De’Aaron wasnt the guy who hit the winning shot. Domas got his very large Lithuanian arse on those boards and made an imprint on this game around the basket. The Clippers couldn’t keep Domas away from the cup and he put up, not a misprint, THIRTEEN shots. That’s huge for a team that needs Domas taking that amount of shot attempts. He’s so unselfish, I get it, but a bit more selfish Domas makes this team better.

And if Keegan takes the 2nd corner 3 that he passed away because he missed the previous corner 3 — either of which put the Kings up 6 with 1:50ish or so remaining — the Domas paragraph is moot. The Kings are trotting out a rookie in high pressure games, and winning. He defends All Stars, he is expected to make winning plays, he is expected to not have mental lapses (he still does), etc etc. And the Kings are winning anyway.

The point is simple: I don’t think one can assume that this team is simply overachieving. Not if you have the ability to get a more productive Keegan and Domas than what you have now. Not if you get the unicorn stretch 4/rim protector. And part of it is, you just simply can’t beat this team by doing one thing. You have to unearth the 40 minutes of hell Nolan Richardson’s Arkansas’ team’s in the 90s are famous for. That’s not sustainable in the NBA over 48 minutes. But every time a team unearths it, it tells me they are desperate. To beat the Sacramento Kings.

That’s…. new. But mostly fun.

Were I other teams, seeing the Kings is not a thrilling endeavor. And I damn sure would be sure as shit sick as all living fucking hell of that goddamn beam. To that I say: It’s about time.

And demz da breakz of da game.

Adamsite
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March 4, 2023 9:45 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I’m going to give a whole heaping bowl of credit to how the Kings improve quarter by quarter to the coaching staff. This has been a trend this season and is becoming more noticeable. The Kings are active, precise and excelling in the fourth quarter…and it’s not always the same personnel. Sometimes the 4th quarter crew is heavy with Lyles, other times its Monk, while others may include Murray or TD. Coach Brown and his staff are making keen observations and adjustments throughout the game until we see 4th quarter greatness. It feels so good to have a competent coaching staff back at the helm for the first time in nearly 20 years.

And to this…

The Kings are trotting out a rookie in high pressure games, and winning. He defends All Stars, he is expected to make winning plays, he is expected to not have mental lapses (he still does), etc etc.

Keegan has been stepping up. It wasn’t Barnes picking up PG13 down the stretch, it was Keegan. His defensive confidence and chops are really starting to show. He was more of a one dimensional shooter to start the year, but is now becoming a two player who does more than just shoot. I love to see it.

oshima9
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March 4, 2023 9:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Keegan is going to be an amazing player. You can see the future ahead for him. He does everything, he has a feel for the inner rhythm of the game.

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March 4, 2023 9:53 am
Reply to  oshima9

Yup. I feel the game is already slowing down for him. Just imagine how he is going to look this time next year.

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March 4, 2023 10:02 am
Reply to  Adamsite

As much as I’m excited for a playoff series, I almost want to fast-forward to opening night in 2023 to watch 2nd year Keegan.

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March 4, 2023 11:03 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

I keep thinking that! A summer of him working his off the dribble game, and the confidence that will come from this season. The Kings got a serious player, who is the perfect compliment to Fox and Sabonis.

murraytant
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March 4, 2023 10:26 am
Reply to  Adamsite

he has improved significantly. The biggest “hole” right now is lack of offensive aggression. He needs to get offensive.
on the other hand, for some other rookies that’s all they have – Mathurin and J. Williams

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March 4, 2023 10:36 am
Reply to  murraytant

I think he’s just been deferring to the other 4 starters. For much of the season he was a quick passer to others and wasn’t looking for his shot or drive unless it came as part of a play or DHO. The young man just needed some pushing from the coaches.

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March 4, 2023 11:00 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I was going to reply with something quite similar Adam. Brown certainly seems to be the game manager much as Kerr was, and Jordi and Triano really handling the adjustments on defense and offense respectively. With Mike Brown being so well liked and respected amongst coaches and how active he is in the community, I feel like he is always going to have significant brain power on the bench.

Like Guru said in his essay, the Kings come at opponents for 48 minutes. Even the players who are not always effective in Davion, TD, and Metu, play with a physicality and pace that keeps the other team having to pay attention.

A couple of times last night, I kept thinking, the Kings can do this all night, can the Clips? It is what makes me excited about the playoffs. I think this staff and this team are going to go full tilt every game regardless of the opponent.

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March 4, 2023 5:38 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

They say Keegan’s comp is Khris Middleton but I see the coaching staff transforming him to a Pascal Siakam. If he just gets to half of what Siakam is, coupled with his 3-point shot then we have a future All-Star in the works.

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March 4, 2023 10:22 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Kings have (finally) faced a plethora of “junk defenses” in last 2 weeks- plenty of zone, hard hedge on the DHO and now blitzing Fox. They have not always responded that well but it is good to see all of that now and get experience. The box and 1 is coming next.
Brown took out Keegan because he was not attacking after he got the ball from a blitzed Fox- Huerter did get a back door dunk and Monk crashed to the hole with success.

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March 4, 2023 2:08 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Brown took out Keegan because he was not attacking after he got the ball from a blitzed Fox- Huerter did get a back door dunk and Monk crashed to the hole with success.

That’s just part of the progression of Keegan, what you point out here that Huerter and Monk know how to do. Keegan, though, has illustrated he can adjust and is showing signs that he’s adjusting already. He’s only a rookie, after all. LOL

Want2win
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March 4, 2023 10:27 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I think I am going to make a t-shirt Cowbells and Beam’s . Similar to Cocktails and Dreams

RobHessing
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March 4, 2023 9:31 am

The last time the Kings lost: Before the break, to the Suns.

the last time the Clips won: Before the break, to the Suns.

Both the Kings & Wolves on a b2b tonight, with no other games of WC relevance. A win would give the Kings a 6.5 game lead over 7th, and 8 in the loss column, with 19 to play.

Last edited 11 months ago by RobHessing
murraytant
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March 4, 2023 10:28 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Rob- in the last 20 games, including tonight- what do the Kings have to do to stay ahead of the GSW?
go 10-10 while duds go 14-6?

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March 4, 2023 10:55 am
Reply to  murraytant

Give or take a game on all of this: I think that they could go 7-13 & hold onto 6th. 8-12 for 5th. 10-10 for 4th. 12-8 for 3rd. 14-6 for 2nd.

Kingsguru21
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March 4, 2023 1:53 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

It’s worth remembering the Kings are 37-25 right now. They are 4 games — or more– ahead of everyone behind them in the loss column.

They are 7 games behind the Nuggets (1 seed) and 7 games ahead of the Jazz and Pelicans (9-10 seeds respectively).

Not something I was expecting to type at this point of the season, that’s for sure.

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March 4, 2023 9:42 am

The Zero on Westbrooks’ jersey stands for the # of wins his teams get…the guy is racking up the nicknames: Westbrick…Turnover Machine…Butterfingers. He is a fun villain to hate for sure, it’s all fun and games though but I do love to see him lose. Another huge win and I was there too!!! LTB BABY!!! More Beam More Bell I say!

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March 4, 2023 10:05 am
Reply to  ajonez81

I really don’t understand the scorn Westbrook is garnering.

He’s a fierce competitor who was respected by most teammates at the several teams he played (except the diva’s), and an overall good guy.

Yes, he is struggling to adapt after losing a step or two and does so less gracefully than a guy like Vince Carter. But that sheer competitiveness of him was also what seemingly propelled him to heights beyond his talent, something that is more difficult to claim regarding Carter, who sort of glided through a career both spectacular and forgetable at once.

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March 4, 2023 10:25 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Agreed. I actually thought he played quite well last night. I think it is all just a media created narrative while being under the microscope of the Lakers. The Stephan A. Smiths of the world had to talking about something while the Lakers keep losing, so they placed it at the feet of Westbrook.

No single player is responsible for a team’s losses. The Lakers and Clips have been ravaged by injuries and father time. Westbrook just makes for a convenient punching bag. It’s unfortunate.

Jack
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March 4, 2023 10:57 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Then keep his mouth shut. Would you like a Keegan Murray with a mouth like that. I hope not.

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March 4, 2023 1:23 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think he played great bc the Kings let him get going early. Kerr gave them the game plan to stop Westbrook just the game before… Kings were giving way too much credit to his outside shot, which allowed him to be successful going to the basket.

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March 4, 2023 10:32 am
Reply to  RikSmits

He is just getting scorn from me because of his chirping last night! but otherwise I don’t give a f about the other team it’s all about the Kings for me

Adamsite
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March 4, 2023 10:38 am
Reply to  Want2win

I’ll admit, when he held up the 3 fingers to Huerter after the third foul, I smirked. That was a savvy vet move and gamesmanship.

Jack
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March 4, 2023 11:00 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I have another word for that but I will refrain from using it. Sorry fellows he would not play for me.

RikSmits
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March 4, 2023 11:14 am
Reply to  Jack

LOL. Guys like Kobe, Jordan and Bird (and loads of lesser players) also talked loads of trash.

Adamsite
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March 4, 2023 11:15 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah, it’s part of the game. The guy isn’t out there throwing hands, he’s just playing the game how other greats have played the game.

murraytant
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March 4, 2023 10:33 am
Reply to  RikSmits

the Westbrook off the court is fun, smart, entertaining and liked by his teammates. On the court, his demeanor screams competitive but with a hint of scorn, entitlement and dismissiveness. To some degree this is a result of diminishing skills- a ploy to get back that edge (similar to Klank on GSW)
I think the fans feel that desperation, that aggressive fuck you attitude and respond to it.

MichaelMack
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March 4, 2023 11:08 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Excellent observation Rik, and very astute point made in your paragraph comparing his career to Carters. I like Russ, and find his antics and misadventures fun and good for the game. A lot of players act like corporate entities now, and I miss some of that flavor from the teams and players I grew up on (I started watching the NBA in 78 after a Boy’s Life article on KAJ).

I might not be as fond of Ja’s flavor filled Insta feed, but I like Russ, a lot.

Last edited 11 months ago by MichaelMack
oshima9
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March 4, 2023 11:22 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

I agree

OldDude50
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March 4, 2023 1:03 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Ja is a knucklehead. He’ll be lucky to have a career that lasts as long as Russ’s.

Kosta
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March 4, 2023 11:14 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I’ve never liked the Westbrook “hate”. I actually like him.

And I especially like how he has been “helping” the L*kers and Clippers, hehe.

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March 4, 2023 11:30 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Put me in the Westbrook camp. He elevated his game throughout his career but is now on the downslope.

A future HoFer, a former MVP – IMO, he deserves respect. The Clippers benefitted from his play since he joined them, including last night.

The guy is a baller, and he has the hunger to play and win. Like many a player, his (off the charts) athleticism exceeds his BB skills and yet he produces. Love his competitiveness, always have.

I admired his play last night, he played within his game and wasn’t asked to be the three point shooter he is not and has never been (Lakers, and as an LA guy, it had to hurt his heart that it didn’t work).

I liked him greatly when he played a sort of free safety defender with Kevin Durant in early OKC days. He was drafted as a defensive guy.

Anyhoo – I remember the comps of De’Aaron Fox to Westbrook in his early career. And you can see the respect Fox has for the former #4 pick out of UCLA. (That draft had Kevin Love at #5, Eric Gordon at #7- Derrick Rose, Michael Beasly, OJ Mayo at 1,2,3). He’s aged a ton better than any of those guys. I give the guy credit, but that me.

His biggest knock? Someone gave him an annual fortune in reward for his past glory. Good for him.

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March 4, 2023 1:00 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I agree. The Clips wouldn’t have been close last night without Westbrook. He’s still a dynamic player, active on D, able to penetrate at will, good midrange but lousy 3 point shooter. I also like the chip on his shoulder he plays with.

He’ll help the Clips before this is all over

Jack
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March 4, 2023 10:54 am
Reply to  ajonez81

One reason he loses is its all about me Westbrook not about the team. IMO he is a consumate looser. I would never want him in a King’s uniform Period. If you aren’t convinced then ask Kevin Huerter.

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March 4, 2023 1:06 pm
Reply to  Jack

Totally disagree with your take. But that’s ok. That’s what these sites are for.

oshima9
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March 4, 2023 9:43 am

I had the Kings losing this game because the Clippers needed it so badly, so I think this is an impressive win, even if the team looked wobbly down the stretch.

One of the highlights was Fox shooting free throws late, great camera work caught him trash talking with a Clipper along the left side of the key (probably Westbrook), he paused briefly, shot the free throw (made it), returned to the trash talk again, then paused again, took the free throw (made it). And the pauses were very short.

Jack
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March 4, 2023 11:02 am
Reply to  oshima9

I personally do not think Fox starts a lot of trashing talk but he also doesn’t back down.

oshima9
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March 4, 2023 11:23 am
Reply to  Jack

Agreed, and it is encouraging that Fox is being more aggressive in this respect. He is displaying a toughness he hasn’t shown before.

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March 4, 2023 11:32 am
Reply to  oshima9

My old skool take:
he’s talking the talk because he can walk the walk

Jack
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March 4, 2023 2:30 pm

There you go!

Klam
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March 4, 2023 11:07 am

The Grizzlies may end up falling from the number 2 seed. I predict it will definitely be more than two games he’s out.
https://twitter.com/GrizzliesPR/status/1632093630792966148

Last edited 11 months ago by Klam
Adamsite
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March 4, 2023 11:14 am
Reply to  Klam

Yikes. Get that young man some help before something really goes wrong.

oshima9
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March 4, 2023 11:24 am
Reply to  Adamsite

It is really an alarming situation. Morant is looking more and more like a mid-1970s player whose career is spiraling out of control.

Klam
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March 4, 2023 11:21 am
Reply to  Klam
Adamsite
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March 4, 2023 11:35 am
Reply to  Klam

Wow, that sucks. That would be like the Kings losing Trey Lyles right now for the rest of the season. You can’t replace that.

Klam
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March 4, 2023 12:21 pm
Reply to  Klam

Damn, not a good day for Memphis at all.
https://twitter.com/JandersonSacBee/status/1632113094414729216

BuffaloDiaspora
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March 4, 2023 12:30 pm
Reply to  Klam

The 2 seed is definitely looking more likely.

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March 4, 2023 12:35 pm
Reply to  Klam

And they play the Clips tomorrow night on ESPN.

MichaelMack
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March 4, 2023 12:48 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

And the Clips are going to be hungry to snap that streak at home. That might be quite a thumping.

Kingsguru21
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March 4, 2023 1:22 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

I’m happy the Kings won’t have to face the Clippers again until the playoffs at the very earliest.

They are going to be a pissed off angry bunch for a lil while here, and they don’t have a lot of games left on their season (16 left).

That’s going to help the Kings a lot I suspect.

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March 4, 2023 1:39 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

TBH Mike, as bad as they have looked at times, they are still more than good enough to win 10 of 12 down the stretch here and make things interesting.

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March 4, 2023 6:37 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I fear the Clips getting it together this season but I fear them more if they keep the trio of PG, Kawhi and Westbrook for next season. They are hella deep with a great coach. Barring injuries, they are the team to beat next season more than the Suns.

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March 4, 2023 1:21 pm
Reply to  Klam

We knew this was coming last night when Brooks picked up his 16th tech. It’s the Morant news today that’s thrown me for a loop a bit (although not as much as it would have 3 months ago).

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March 4, 2023 1:21 pm
Reply to  Klam

This side of Ja has really surprised me this season. He’s got some bad people hanging around him.

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March 4, 2023 2:59 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

or vice versa

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March 4, 2023 12:58 pm

Random observations: Kings are 5-0 in OT games and one point games. Westbrook letting the ball go thru his hands reminded of a game a few years ago when he threw the ball out of bounds to no one costing his team a loss against the Kings. I think Sabonis is an American since he was born in Portland.

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March 4, 2023 3:00 pm
Reply to  Mike120

Portland Lasagna? Me thinks No.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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March 4, 2023 2:16 pm

26 for 26 at free throw line is how to get it done against a very good team that is not even close to full strength.

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