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Kings 131, Nets 118: City of Threes

Kings put on a show for the home crowd as they break the franchise record for 3-pointers.
By | 42 Comments | Dec 11, 2023

Dec 11, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) takes a jump shot during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings were back home tonight after a short trip to Phoenix to light the beam as they hosted the Brooklyn Nets. We have all reached that point where we are so close, yet still so far from the holidays and as each day passes, the motivation for production dwindles. Hopefully the Kings are better at their jobs than I am and can remain focused on the tasks ahead, because it’s a long work week for them. Tonight was the first of four games in six nights and nobody likes to start a long work week off with an L. Let’s see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings win, 131-118

Sacramento Kings: 131 pts, 51.1% fg, 55.6% 3 pt, 71.4% ft, 38 ast, 42 reb, 13 to

Brooklyn Nets: 118 pts, 47.7% fg, 48.3% 3 pt, 95.2% ft, 23 ast, 41 reb, 13 to

That was FUN. The Kings are way better than I when it comes to doing their job and I am so grateful for that. When the Kings are hitting their shots AND playing defense, there’s no better basketball to be witnessed. The Kings held control of this game for all 48 minutes. Brooklyn made a run late in the game, hitting 5 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and cutting the Kings’ lead to just 6 points. But every time the Nets got close, the Kings responded accordingly and did so in exciting and entertaining ways.

The Good, The Better, & The Best

The Good:
  1. Bench Mob: The Kings got so many productive minutes off their bench tonight. Trey Lyles contributed 17 points on 5-6 from the 3-point line. While the Kings went with their small ball lineup to start the fourth quarter, Sasha Vezenkov (5 rebounds) proved why this tactic can be so effective for the Kings as he had back to back defensive stops playing big down low. And I’ll give you two guesses but you will probably only need one to figure out was the most electrifying spark for the Kings tonight – that’s right, none other than our 6th Man of the Year candidate, Malik Monk. Immediately upon entering, Monk hit a corner 3 to get the bench rolling. He followed this up with 28 minutes of pure entertainment on the court, finishing with 21 points and 9 assists and shooting 4-7 from the 3-point line. Beyond these numbers, it felt like every exciting Kings play was either started by or completed by Monk. You know a guy is electric when the highlight of a game is one of his rare misses:

The Better:
  1. Defense: Credit to the Nets for scoring 118 points with four starters finishing in double digits, led by Mikal Bridges’ 22 points, but the Kings played some real deal defense tonight. It felt like the Nets had to earn every point they got as the Kings forced them into tough shots. The Nets lead the league in 3-point shooting, and the Kings were able to hold them to just 29 attempts from deep. The most impressive thing to watch was the Kings’ on-ball defense. Sacramento’s guards were fighting around screens, recovering on drives, and making their presence felt on the ball all night long. Keegan Murray showcased more of his length and defensive discipline against Spencer Dinwiddie (18 points), and De’Aaron Fox locked in on the defensive end on Cam Thomas (18 points).
The Best:
  1. Record Setting: It is so fun when the Kings are shooting well. And they did it tonight at a record-setting rate. The Kings finished 25-45 from the 3-point line and set a new franchise record for made 3-pointers. Everyone got in on the fun. De’Aaron Fox made 5-10, Harrison Barnes made 3-4, and even Domantas Sabonis got to tally himself in the count as he shot 1-1 from deep. If the Kings continue to play the way they did tonight, I have a feeling this record won’t be set for long.
  2. Point Gawd: I would not only be remiss, but I would also not be able to call myself a true basketball fan, if I didn’t mention the Kings’ newest addition to their broadcast team. Chelsea Gray, 3x WNBA champion, 5x All-Star, and famously known as the Point Gawd, made her debut on the coverage team tonight. Her insight into the game is fascinating, invaluable, and spoken from a true champion. We are so lucky to get to view the game of basketball through her lens. And tonight, with they way they played, it seemed like the Kings knew the Point Gawd was in the building and that they couldn’t disappoint her.

The King of Kings

Keegan Murray is officially, undoubtedly, and in all caps BACK. After a grinding start in the first half, where he contributed through dirty work of midrange jumpers, rebounding, and defense, Keegan quickly found his offensive flow in the second half. He finished with 24 points on a perfect 4-4 from the 3-point line and 2-2 from the free throw line. He nearly exploded the arena with this sequence here:

Up Next

Tuesday, December 12th @ Los Angeles Clippers – 7:30 P.M. (PT)

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42 Comments
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Klam
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December 11, 2023 10:07 pm

Harry Giles <3

UpgradedToQuestionable
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December 11, 2023 10:10 pm

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TerzoM
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December 11, 2023 10:15 pm

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It’s funny Malik Monk rated the dunk 3/10 😁

Hobby916
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December 12, 2023 10:01 am
Reply to  TerzoM

Malik seems to do the same style of dunk each time. The big reach back with the right arm and slam it home. Keegan went around a dude baseline and soared above a taller Giles for the strong jam. I say that was more like a 6.5.

Jman1949
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December 11, 2023 10:16 pm

The Beam is LIT!

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TerzoM
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December 11, 2023 10:24 pm

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So so close…

KingsInTheNorth
December 11, 2023 11:21 pm

I don’t know if you have any other jobs you’re worried about, Mirann, but you’re damn good at the “entertaining recap” job! Thanks for another great read!

MichaelMack
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December 12, 2023 1:24 am

How fun was that? Some great defense tonight. I can’t imagine what this team will look like come playoff time. Keegan has arrived, Trey is finding his legs, Fox is an MVP candidate, and the fuse has been lit on Sasha.

Sorry about your luck NBA, to quote the great Malik “Ginooooooobli” Monk, “We here too”.

50 wins and a Conference Finals appearance are my prediction. Too much shooting, too much depth, too much vibes. Narratives matter over the course of a long season, and the Kings are about to pop.

Last edited 7 months ago by MichaelMack
Klam
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December 12, 2023 8:48 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

That was probably the most complete game I’ve seen from this squad so far this season on both ends of the floor. Even when the Nets made it close several times in the 4th, I never had any doubt the Kings were going to win the game.

Last edited 7 months ago by Klam
Kosta
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December 12, 2023 9:31 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

Alex Len should be healed by then, too!

Hobby916
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December 12, 2023 7:01 am

That was Keegan’s best all around game of his career. Efficient 24 points and played tough defense on Bridges.

Adamsite
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December 12, 2023 7:54 am
Reply to  Hobby916

When the best defender on the team can get you 20 points while hitting from deep all while locking down the other team’s best offensive weapon, you are looking at a future all-star.

For reference, that is who Mikal Bridges is for the Nets and he’s their #1 option on offense. Keegan on the other hand is the #3 option at best for the Kings. Good times ahead for the Kings big 3.

jwalker1395
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December 12, 2023 7:32 am

Kings are now 11-5 in games when Fox plays. He has only lost to the Warriors, Pelicans, and Clippers. Seems good!

Last edited 7 months ago by Jacob Walker
Kosta
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December 12, 2023 9:32 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

His 30 points a night (i know it was only 29) are routine now!

HumboldtCPA
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December 12, 2023 7:38 am

No offense to Murray, but how does his dunk make NBA top 10 plays and not Monk????

Klam
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December 12, 2023 9:01 am
Reply to  HumboldtCPA

If only Monk made that spinning 360 layup attempt!

Adamsite
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December 12, 2023 8:05 am

It’s funny, in my mind I think of that Nets team as a young and up and coming team in the East, much like OKC, Houston, and Orlando, but Brooklyn isn’t really all that young. Bridges and Johnson are both 27, Spencer is 30, and their bench of O’Neal and DFS are both 30. Really all they have in youth is Claxton at 24 and Cam Thomas at 22. Speaking of Thomas, I get that he can get you a bucket, but it seems that is about all he can do. He reminds of me Marcus Thornton in that way.

The sad part is, for all the first rounders the Nets have coming in from PHX and others after blowing up their team, they have just as many going out to Houston. It’s a bit of a wash when you look at their asset cupboard.

Hobby916
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December 12, 2023 9:11 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Agreed. They are a fine team, but where does their “next level” of success come from?

-Cam Thomas just tries to score, rather erratically at times.
-Simmons is a non-factor.
-Whitehead is injury prone as well.

Bridges is awesome, but other than him the roster is full of average players with limited upside and the draft assets are complicated.

Adamsite
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December 12, 2023 9:17 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Yup, if Bridges is your #1 option, you have a rather low ceiling. He’s great and all, but better suited to the role he had in PHX as opposed to lead fiddle in Brooklyn.

andy_sims
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December 12, 2023 10:01 am
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December 12, 2023 10:41 am
Reply to  andy_sims

He may not even be the best Bridges in the league.

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andy_sims
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December 12, 2023 11:03 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Maybe, but I wouldn’t have a problem with him dating my daughter.

murraytant
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December 12, 2023 11:25 am
Reply to  Adamsite

the ones from the Suns are less valuable than theirs to Houston.

Lilrecruit21
December 12, 2023 8:11 am

Keegan is really starting to remind me of Paul George or an actual likable Kawhi Leonard lol. Two-way player with very good defense and can shoot and drive, occasional passing skills and strong fundamentals. Could be scary if he keeps growing.

Last edited 7 months ago by Lilrecruit21
TheBaker
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December 12, 2023 9:31 am
Reply to  Lilrecruit21

I’ve always liked Kawhi, and wanted him here instead of being traded to Toronto – but the point is well taken. Keegan is up-and-coming and it is a good thing for this team.

andy_sims
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December 12, 2023 10:03 am
Reply to  Lilrecruit21

Leonard isn’t unlikable, he’s just bland. And of course, nothing is more repugnant to the media than an athlete who refuses to entertain them outside the lines.

murraytant
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December 12, 2023 11:28 am
Reply to  Lilrecruit21

PG has more wiggle and Keegan has it but hides it. Last night let some out.
Are there stats out there on Keegan’s defensive numbers. He looks good- does he “score” good?

Ifeanyi
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December 12, 2023 6:03 pm
Reply to  Lilrecruit21

Only disagreement here is that Kawhi isn’t likeable. He’s a fun guy man

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Last edited 7 months ago by Ifeanyi
eddie41
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December 12, 2023 8:19 am

some cool lineup combinations out there. A Lyles/Vezenkov frontcourt for a stretch. A bigger lineup with Keegan at the 2, HB, Lyles and Domas. I thought HB played well.

Hobby916
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December 12, 2023 9:23 am
Reply to  eddie41

I liked when they went small with Keegan/Lyles/Sasha (I think Fox and Monk were out there as well). Really spaced the floor.

Adamsite
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December 12, 2023 9:32 am
Reply to  eddie41

Small sample size and all, but the lineup of Sabonis, Lyles, Barnes, Keegan and Fox was used last night for the first time. They played 4.7 minutes and posted a season best of +11. No other lineup even approaches that kind of production.

For reference, the traditional starting 5 who have played in 11 games together, post a +5.

murraytant
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December 12, 2023 11:30 am
Reply to  eddie41

I have noticed over last 2 weeks some very interesting defensive match up’s- like Monk on 6/8 guy, Fox on taller guys etc. These are not all switches either.

andy_sims
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December 12, 2023 11:45 am
Reply to  murraytant

Fox has such quick hands that a guy having six inches on him is at less of an advantage, because if he puts the ball on the floor, Fox will pounce, as foxes do.

A ballhandler has a rough time trying to blow by Fox, and if he tries to muscle Fox by backing him down, he becomes vulnerable to those fleet hands of Fox.

Monk, also quick, but a bit stronger than Fox and can hold his ground if anyone tries to push him around. Everyone has been switching, and more importantly, competing on defense. Even when the Nets moved the ball well, it didn’t often provide much of an advantage because the rotations were excellent, and no one conceded a thing.

On the downside, Brooklyn scored one hundred points over the last three quarters. You’ll lose a lot of games when an opponent does that.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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December 12, 2023 8:52 am

It was everything I ever wanted. Loved seeing Harry get some points and huge cheers!

TheBaker
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December 12, 2023 9:25 am

I finally did NOT predict a Keegan breakout game,… so of course this is when it happens. You’re welcome.

Kosta
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December 12, 2023 9:34 am
Reply to  TheBaker

Thank you!

Kosta
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December 12, 2023 9:35 am

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murraytant
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December 12, 2023 11:31 am
Reply to  Kosta

Harden post game last night I hope.

murraytant
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December 12, 2023 11:23 am

Interesting game. Nets had won 6 of 7, I think and were 12-9. Honestly, Nets looked terrible, Kings clearly the better team. But Kings played down to them a bit and only turned it on late when needed it- to stretch the 4-point lead.
Keegan was good- his game is quiet and understated but got over 20 and finally hit some threes. His defense on Briges was really good. MB did get some points but 7/7 from the free throw line as he went hunting for fouls. Some of his sh..t, had no chance of going in but the goal was the foul, not the bucket and then he hit some threes late. Not sure of defender.
But the Nets did not play intelligently- often looked like LAC- pass to a guy, dribble try to find a shot for abput4 possessions and then switch to next option. Many of their shots ( like Cam Thomas) bounced on all corners of the rim before going in. Kings could not buy any luck particularly close to the rim. Fox was off too.
I was there and did not really notice the high number of threes- it just seemed organic.
at a quarter of the way in, only Fox, Lyles and maybe Monk exceeding last year. Regressions on others: HB, Huerter, Keegan (some debate here), Davion. Last night was anti-regression night.
Like to see a win over LAC or OKC or better yet, both. LAC is pay back. OKC is better for standings.
Sasha is contributing in unexpected ways. He is slow but he knows position.

Nice to see Harry last night. That guy is just so darn likeable.

RobHessing
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December 12, 2023 11:23 am

Fox Fun Fact: When looking at the other top ten scorers in the league, their aggregate free throw percentage is 83.1%. If Fox were shooting 83.1% from the line and not his current 73.1%, his ppg would go from 30.4 to 31.4, which would be 3rd in the league, behind only Embiid and Doncic.

The Kings as a team are currently 27th in the league in percentage. Most of that is due to Fox and Sabonis being a combined 70.7% on 59% of the team’s attempts. This is an area that they hopefully improve upon as the season goes along.

Want2win
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December 12, 2023 12:29 pm

After lasts nights game I am really concerned about our Keegan Problem… dude just does t have the look of a good player and fails to make an imprint!

~IYKYK

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