The Sacramento Kings played host to the Indiana Pacers, marking the return of Tyrese Haliburton. Haliburton and Buddy Hield were traded last season for Domantas Sabonis. Both teams have been having better success this season, but win-win trades don’t fill airtime. Anticipation was high as the Kings looked to avoid extending their losing streak to four games.
Let’s see how they did:
Outcome: Kings 137, Pacers 114
Sacramento Kings: 137 pts, 50.5% fg, 37.2% 3pt, 86.2% ft, 28 ast, 57 reb, 18 to
Indiana Pacers: 114 pts, 40.0% fg, 32.4% 3 pt, 73.3% ft, 28 ast, 47 reb, 15 to
The Kings win! Sacramento avoided some really annoying narratives by defeating Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and the Indiana Pacers in convincing fashion. The Kings jumped out to an early lead and never really gave up. It was funny watching frustration mount on Twitter at times when the Kings lead slipped from 25 or 20 points down to just 15 points, but the Kings were in full control of this one even though there were stretches where it felt like the Kings weren’t executing well.
Tyrese Haliburton finished with just 9 points tonight, and ended his three game streak of zero turnovers, finishing with 2 tonight. Buddy Hield had 17 points on 13 shots, and was mercilessly booed every time he touched the ball. Jalen Smith had 22 points before leaving the game with a facial laceration front an inadvertent Malik Monk elbow where the refs missed the initial foul call and ended up assessing a very weak Flagrant 1 against Monk to cover their error. Stud rookie Benedict Mathurin also had 22 points, and showed why he’s received so much hype this season. That kid is special, and he and Haliburton will be a potent duo for years to come.
But enough about the Pacers. This is about Sacramento tonight. Let’s break down the bright spots. Oh and speaking of bright spots, Light The Beam!
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
- De’Aaron Fox: Fox got back on track after a couple rough games. He finished with 19 points on 7-11 shooting from the field, including 1-1 from 3. Fox also had 6 assists and 5 rebounds, and did all of this in 27 minutes of play. Fox had some huge plays to help secure the lead and allow him to sit for most of the fourth quarter.
- Davion’s Defense: Davion Mitchell’s stat line isn’t going to jump off the page. He finished with 8 points, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. But make no mistake, Davion was HUGE in this game. He checked Tyrese Haliburton early and often and was swarming. The defensive pressure in this game was great, and Davion was the tip of the spear.
- Harrison Barnes: The Black Falcon is back! 22 points on just 9 FGAs, along with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Barnes was a huge part of this win. The Kings are just such a better team when Barnes is firing on all cylinders.
- Team Basketball: I sometimes struggle with how to put this into words, but the Kings are simply playing as a team in a way that we haven’t seen in a very long time and it is incredible. The ball movement is contagious. Everyone looks to move the ball for a better shot. The defense rotates on a string. It’s team f***ing basketball and when the Kings are executing it, it’s damn tough to beat.
The King of Kings
I’m giving this to Malik Monk. His stat line is absurd: 20 points on 9 shots, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals. And the stat line doesn’t fully capture it. Monk was everywhere in this game and was absolutely incredible. Monk is the best free agent signing the Kings have had in a long time, and he should absolutely earn discussion for 6th Man of the Year
Saturday, December 3rd at Los Angeles Clippers, 1:00 PM PT