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Kings 124, Clippers 115: Kings dominate short-handed Clippers

Sacramento took care of business against a team missing their two superstars.

After two horrific losses to the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Laker over the last few days, the Sacramento Kings handled their business against the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday evening, winning the night 124-115. The Kings were led by a trio of guards. Terence Davis enjoyed his best night in a Sacramento uniform, putting up 23 points on 14 field goal attempts. De'Aaron Fox scored 22 of his own, and Davion Mitchell added 20 off of the bench. Luke Kennard and Terance Mann were the best players for the Clippers, both scoring 19 points off of the bench for Los Angeles.

This was a game that the Kings needed to win, not for their own unrealistic playoff expectations or to prevent a panic trade from the front office, but more from a pure pride-in-job standpoint. The Clippers were down their two superstars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the latter of whom simply chose to rest against a bad Kings team, and their leading scorers remaining were Reggie Jackson, the most average point guard who's ever existed, and Eric Bledsoe, a semi-washed guard who's putting up 9.9 points per game on the season. Thankfully, aside from a late fourth quarter run that saw the Clippers pull within eight points a couple of times, the Kings dominated a much less talented squad.

Quick Stats

Sacramento Kings: 124 points, 38 rebounds,52% FG, 40% 3P, 85% FT, 11 turnovers, 28 assists, 8 steals, 1 block

Memphis Grizzlies: 115 points, 49 rebounds, 47% FG, 29% 3P, 75% FT, 11 turnovers, 35 assits, 8 steals, 6 blocks

After a relatively close start to the game, Sacramento began to build an advantage late in the first and early in the second quarter, eventually reaching a 52-32 lead halfway through the second quarter. However, rookie Brandon Boston spurred the Clippers to a 20-10 run over the final five minutes of the first half. The Kings walked into the locker room with a 10 point lead behind 13 points from both Davion Mitchell and Chimezie Metu, who combined to shoot 9/15 from the field in the first half.

The Clippers late first-half run understandably had Kings fans a bit nervous after Tuesday night's debacle against the Los Angeles Lakers, but for perhaps the first time this season, the Kings came out and punched the opposing team in the mouth to start the second half, rather than the other way around. A quick 8-0 run over a 90-second period pushed Sacramento's lead back up to 18, and the game was never particularly close from there. Davion Mitchell dominated the third quarter, Terence Davis finally knocked down some shots, and the Kings blew open a 20+ point advantage which was never in danger aside from a late fourth quarter run by the Clippers, which still never had them pull closer than eight points with a couple of minutes remaining.

The Good, The Better, & The Best

Normally, this section is reserved for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but tonight's win over the Los Angeles Clippers doesn't really warrant heavy criticism.

The Good

Third quarter security: If one thing has scarred Kings fans over the last 15 years, it's been this team's inability to perform in third quarters, no matter who has been coaching the team, or playing in the game, or running the team. To date, this season, Sacramento had been outscored by an astounding 84 points in the third quarter, but this squad wasn't allowing a collapse tonight. The Kings won the third 37-24, and more importantly, every time the Clippers made a mini five or seven-point run, Sacramento responded with one in kind.

The BETTER

Starter Contributions: Since Harrison Barnes and Moe Harkless went down, the Kings have struggled to find any meaningful contributions from 40% of their starting lineup, namely Chimezie Metu and Terence Davis, but both of those players, along with De'Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Richaun Holmes, played to their strengths tonight. Every starter scored in double-digits, every starter recorded at least one assist and one rebound, and every starter, outside of Richaun Holmes, knocked down a three-pointer. Davis and Metu combined for 36 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals on the night. After multiple games of watching the opening unit get smacked in the face, it was a relief to see everyone perform at a relatively high level.

The BEST

Shot-takers, shot-makers: For the entire 2021-2022 NBA season, the Sacramento Kings have struggled to make open shots. Coming into Wednesday night's matchup, they ranked 27th in the league in overall three-point percentage and 30th in accuracy in wide-open three-point attempts. Tonight, the Kings were able to take advantage of a short-handed, poor Clippers defense, as they knocked down 15 of their 38 three-point attempts, as well as 17 of their 20 free throws, including an 8 of 9 performance from De'Aaron Fox.

The King of Kings

Davion Mitchell: Although Terence Davis is also very deserving of recognition tonight, Davion Mitchell was incredible on both ends of the floor. He regularly tripped up LA's ball-handlers, including multiple possessions of full-court, manic defense, and his shooting was unreal on the other end of the floor. Sacramento's rookie finished the evening with 20 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals, and he knocked down 7 of his 10 shots from the floor, 3 of his 4 attempts from deep, while also making all three of his free throw attempts.

Up Next

Saturday, November 4th vs. Los Angeles Clippers - 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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RikSmits
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December 1, 2021 10:13 pm

Yay!

TerzoM
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December 1, 2021 10:16 pm

Trade everyone, build around TD!

Chippy23152
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December 2, 2021 4:57 am
Reply to  TerzoM

Next game, he’ll go back to making poor decisions with the ball and jacking up bricks.

Putthegundown
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December 2, 2021 5:17 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Lol good one

alec26
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December 1, 2021 10:50 pm

Good win Reminded me of the Charlotte game. Keep hitting those 3s and you can’t lose.  

What happened to Marvin Bagley? He got some run, then he’s inactive for the last two games.

KingsSince85
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December 1, 2021 11:04 pm
Reply to  alec26

I know… I haven’t heard anything, didn’t see him listed on an injury report yesterday, and saw that he wasn’t listed in the box score as “DNP – CD”. Can someone answer this question?

Bbmuteman
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December 2, 2021 6:27 am
Reply to  KingsSince85

He was listed as being out due to non-covid illness for the Lakers game.

Kosta
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December 1, 2021 10:55 pm

Incognito

This team has two personalities

Last edited 1 month ago by Kosta
sonny
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December 1, 2021 11:04 pm
Reply to  Kosta

This win is either a vaccine (booster) or a band-aid,
Band-aid to the old wound that is Vivek.

Kosta
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December 1, 2021 10:58 pm

Dance!
comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by Kosta
Rosevillain
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December 1, 2021 11:09 pm

Sixers now own the 11 seed. Maybe they get desperate, too?

RPO
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RPO
December 1, 2021 11:38 pm

Yay, they finally beat a team missing its superstars… Is this actually good in the long term? Just helps us get back to crappy draft position.

Last edited 1 month ago by RPO
coolhandluke
December 2, 2021 12:13 am

PG preferred to have the night off rather than have an off night.

Chippy23152
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December 2, 2021 5:01 am

Nice win but I’m not going to get too excited. This team will go back to what they always do…. Follow an impressive win with a string of poor games. Consistency is an issue with this squad. Hopefully, some players can raise their trade value so we can start a full on rebuild.

kings4ever
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December 2, 2021 7:25 am

Where my Doomers at?!?

Doomer be like “nooooooo….muh narrative is melting…..”

I thought the team was broke?

How can the team being broke when we just replaced the worst coach in the NBA?!? And replace with AG, a very impressive man, straight shooter and lucid thinker, just like yours truly, game recognizes game, and exactly what this team needs. That is not a team that is broken, per se , but in the process of being fixed.

McGenius strikes again!

Do you know what is broke? Buddy Yields game. Total trash player, down from 60% TS% to 55% TS%, consorting with the enemy, throwing hook passes to the opposition like handing candy to a baby, but I will get to him in a moment.

This headline is misleading because Kawhi has been gone since last playoffs, old news, and PG offsets HB, two best players off respective teams, that is even tradeoff, so quit trying to minimize our dominating win!

Let me help out those engaging in misguided punditry:

What we are bearing witness to is performance volatility, 3-3 overall in the AG Era, up and down, bad and great quarters. We played one of best halves of basketball vs LAL then followed up with our worst.

Volatility is not unusual when there is significant change, in this case change in form of a new voice, a new sheriff in town, laying down the law, distinguishing between the model citizens and lawbreakers. It takes a while to clean up the mess of Fluke the Flunky, or if your prefer, His Luke “Has Run Out” Walton.

As aside I have a new moniker for Fox, when he plays bad, I am surprised none of the critics have thought it up. But now is not the appropriate time to unveil it, have to wait untill he delivers a stinker.

I contend TD had a better game than any game Buddy has played this season. I am not just talking about the shooting. He plays great defense on the ball and collapsing into the post.

The previous coach had a misguided notion pairing TD with Buddy would give the team this formidable 1-2 scoring punch off the bench. For some reason he was fond of this duo on the floor together. Just another vacuous meandering from the Fraud.

The formidabble duo that piques my attention is Davion with TD as defensive harassers. You put these guys on the floor together and you can scramble and rotate and really make the opponent work. They are undersized but they are all over the floor with quick hands and quick feet.

Their energy combined can be so contagious and inspiring!

The Caucasion Comet was (is) ready to throw in the towel on TD. Not just the towel but all the linens in the closet, the bed sheets, dish rags and toilet paper rolls. Why, Jerry, why?!? Have a little more faith and discernement. You saw Bobby Jackson in his prime, you don’t see the resemblance? C’mon now, Jerry, I believe in you, come to the Light!

This defensive intensity and effeciency led by TD and Davion, Fox too, correlates to your offense. I do NOT think we just had one of those nights in terms of making our 3s, that it was an inexplicable blip for a team of bricklayers. We made shots predicated on defense leading to offense, something AG has preached.

By contrast, this cohesion and synergy falls apart when Buddy Yield is at the top of the key trying to make a play. Or trying to rotate defensively, Or trying to keep his man in front of him. Is there any position or time and place on the floor the Best Friend of AD is not a Train Wreck?

Buddy Yield has a 49% TS% in 14 losses. He’s 63%% TS% in 9 wins. Look at that variance.

Buddy is shooting 33% on 10 3s per game in our losses. Thats not winning basketball unless you do a lot of other things on the floor. He proactively leads the team to defeat about 60% of the time, coinciding with our loss rate, over the last 2-3 years with dubious shots, dubious everything, enabled by the previous coach, brushes it off and repeats. What is the definition of insanity again?

It is not a coincidence Buddy brings a good version of himself around 2 out of 5 games, generously quantified, since it is more like 1 out of 5 game, and our win rate since 2018-19, when he used to be a good player, is around .400.

Here’s the kicker, Buddy going 0-3 from 3s last night was a relatively good game! Unlike the norm, he did not use up too many possessions that instead went to others shooting the ball in the context of smart play sets.

30 minutes for TD , 28 for Davion and 21 minutes for Buddy. Woo! I like it and need to see more of this please. If the previous coach was still in charge, we do NOT see this minute distribution, and in fact, we may not have seen this outcome. The previous coach often allocated minutes for players regardless of effectiveness, substituting on set schedule.

AG will pull a player back from the scorers table if deemed prudent based on real time data processing.

Thats called real coaching!

What we beared witness to last night is replicable. LAC 9-14 FGs 23 points

TD was our leading scorer in the preseason. Here are some of TDs game logs from last year:

UTA 8-14 FGs 20 points
OKC 9-15 FGs 27 points
SAS 10-16 FGs 24 points
DAL 9-12 FGs 23 points
MIL 10-14 FGs 27 points

Now you do have to discount end of year play to a degree but not completely. You dont have these type of games, by accident. I contend this player still exists, his best baasketball is ahead not behind him, he just needs to be nurtured, same way Metu needs to be nurtured and coached up. We have the coach who can do that more than the previous coach who brought his bias and distorted perspective and lack of intuition to every time and situation.

As a rookie in 1200 minutes, TD had a 59% TS%.

As a second year player with TOR and SAC in 1000 minutes, TD had a 55.5% TS%.

In 200 minutes this year, 200 minutes, TD has a 46% TS%.

Hmmm…what is the outlier? What is the true representation of said player effeciency?

Is it the 2200 minutes around 57% TS% or the 200 minutes played at 46% TS%?

What do you put more credence into, 90% of the data or 10% of the data?

The other variable that is important is TD shoots 57% of his shots from deep. That is aligned with Curry in terms of his shot distribution inside and outside the arc, unlike Buddy who shoots 75% of his shots from deep, a ridiculous number. Unlike Buddy as well, TD has the spring and juke moves to attack the paint and try to finish.

Ah yes, it is all coming together. The “broken” team is on the mend!

The coaching staff will be reviewing the tape, nothing wrong with reviewing the tape in and out of itself, and it will become more futile the minutes of Buddy Yield. If he is not hot pull him, 10-15 minutes out to be enough to see if he has it or does not. And if it is not one of those 1 out 5 games, 2 out of 5 games if I am generous, of course you want his minutes going to Davion, Ty and TD, who will make more plays regardless if they are hot from deep.

One of the biggest tests for AG on the horizon is what do you do when HB returns? You are going to start him of course, but then how do you divide up the minutes between TD and Buddy? Do you really want to Buddy running around effing up left and right? Been there down that!

Even if TD reverts to shooting blanks, and we know he is streaky AF, as long as he brings that defensive intensity, attack mentality, getting us out in transition, all aspects of the game so important to a bottom ranked defense and independent to shot making, there is a place for TD on the floor. I cannot believe that AG will not respond appropriately. He just had a first hand view of a coach getting fired for misplaced confidence in Buddy, he’s not going to make that same mistake.

1951
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December 2, 2021 7:37 am
Reply to  kings4ever

It makes so much more sense when you read some members as if they are parody accounts!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
December 2, 2021 7:57 am
Reply to  1951

Was thinking the same thing! It has to be! The praise for TD (even comparing him to prime BJax) after one solid game while omitting he’s thrown up over a dozen stinkers is laughable.

This is gold:

and PG offsets HB, two best players off respective teams, that is even tradeoff, so quit trying to minimize our dominating win!

An even trade off? Ha!

Rosevillain
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December 2, 2021 9:49 am
Reply to  1951

He’s best read with a Russian, wannabe hip hop accent. Although I usually tap out after the first paragraph.

RPO
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