Articles | Game Recap

Kings 118, Thunder 113: Keegan carries the Kings

The streak hits six.

There are some wins throughout a Kings season that just feel a little special, and tonight's victory over the scrappy Oklahoma City Thunder was one of them. Rookie Keegan Murray played the best basketball of his career, scoring a career-high 29 points, while snagging a career-high 14 rebounds, Domantas Sabonis posted another triple-double by the end of the third quarter (18 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists), and De'Aaron Fox added 25 points of his own to lead the Kings to their sixth consecutive victory. The Thunder caught fire early from three-point range, but cooled off in the second half, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's 37 points weren't enough to carry his team to victory.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
THE GOOD

Keegan's Windex sponsorship: A common criticism of Keegan Murray early in the season was his lack of focus on the defensive glass, but as of late, and after a Mike Brown team-wide emphasis on rebounding, Keegan has stepped up in a big way. Over his first 37 games, Murray averaged just 3.8 boards per game, but over his last five performances, he's averaged 7.6, including 10 last game and 14 tonight. And let's not forget his 29 points on just 12 shots.

Dunkin' Domas: Domantas Sabonis continues and continues and continues to be the solid foundation for Sacramento's offensive output. Once again, he recorded a triple-double prior to the end of the third quarter, and on a night in which the Kings were struggling to hit shots, Sabonis acted as a calming force as both a scorer and as a facilitator.

Going streaking: The Kings posted their six consecutive win on Friday evening, their second such streak of the year. Prior to this season, the Kings hadn't posted a six-game winning streak in 17 years, or 6,525 days to be exact, although they did record 30 six-game losing streaks over that same span.

THE BAD

Three-point shooting: Friday evening was a rare event that saw just about everyone on the Kings (Keegan Murray being the exception) struggle from beyond the arc. Outside of Murray's 5/7 shooting, Sacramento made just 7 of their 31 attempts (22.5%). They'll need to convert at a much higher percentage if they hope to defeat the Sixers on Saturday night.

THE UGLY

Bench contributions: Sacramento's bench play has been fairly inconsistent all season, but almost everyone was bad tonight, outside of Davion Mitchell's typical great defense. Overall, the subs shot a disappointing 7 of 23 from the field, including 2/13 from deep, and no one was particularly effective.

The King of Kings

Keegan Murray: Yes, Domantas Sabonis had a triple-double, but the Kings wouldn't have won without Murray's fourth quarter play tonight. The rookie had a career night, and he's only getting better as the season progresses.

Up Next

Saturday, January 21st vs. Philadelphia 76ers - 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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Jman1949
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January 20, 2023 9:58 pm

King of Kings!

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Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 10:02 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

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Amonk81
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January 20, 2023 10:46 pm
Reply to  Ellis5

A few games back you could see real defensive and rebounding improvements from Keegan. With that, there was no doubt in my mind he would/will be really good.

Keegan has the shot/O so seeing him improve his weaknesses on D and boards, something tough for rookies to do, leads to a high ceiling and a vision of a legit baller

Daydreamer
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January 21, 2023 6:16 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Over the course of the season, Keegan has been open innumerable times at the 3-point line but has been ignored by his teammates. That has to change and may have begun to change last night when others were shooting poorly. He may be our best 3-point marksman, consistently, game in and game out.

ScottyPop
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January 20, 2023 10:04 pm

17 years! 17 mf-n years!

Dance mofos!

Jman1949
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January 20, 2023 10:10 pm
Reply to  ScottyPop

OK dance!

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Kosta
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January 20, 2023 11:10 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Take that, Giddey!

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Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 11:14 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 11:00 pm
Reply to  ScottyPop

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Last edited 17 days ago by Ellis5
fossilizedflatus
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January 20, 2023 11:25 pm
Reply to  Ellis5

dance of Six!
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RikSmits
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January 20, 2023 10:05 pm

The better they play, the less I have to say.

Beautiful! Go Kings!

Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 11:17 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Weirdest statement ever made…. I like it.

RikSmits
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January 21, 2023 12:11 am
Reply to  Ellis5

Not that weird, I hope.

When they were bad, I had plenty to say, criticize and ridicule.

Right now I am too busy chewing on that big bite of crow and just enjoying the ride.

Kosta
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January 21, 2023 12:30 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It’s like my mom used to say:

“If you have nothing bad to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

Ellis5
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January 21, 2023 12:37 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Weird is OK RikSmits… The spaces between your comments says it all.

Last edited 17 days ago by Ellis5
BabalooMagoo
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January 21, 2023 6:37 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Please pass the Frank’s Red Hot, I put that sh*t on everything.

Last edited 16 days ago by BabalooMagoo
lazlohollyfeld
January 20, 2023 10:05 pm

I have a feeling these two teams will be playing each other in the Western Conference Finals a few times over the next five years. With the exception of Memphis, we were looking at the West’s future tonight. All the other legacy teams have all their stars to replace, while Kings/OKC will be in their prime.

rockbottom
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January 20, 2023 10:12 pm
Reply to  lazlohollyfeld

Actually Denver, is set for 5 years . Don’t count them out or even NO if Zion can ever stay healthy .

Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 10:20 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Zion is the next “What’s his face?”

BeTheBall
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January 21, 2023 12:16 am
Reply to  rockbottom

He’s shown he can’t

Reddingtyguy
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January 20, 2023 11:06 pm
Reply to  lazlohollyfeld

I’m not sure OKC has as much of a bright future. Some of those players barely belong in the NBA. As a consumer of bad basketball for as long as I want to remember, I can recognize bad players. OKC looked baaaaaaaad.

murraytant
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January 21, 2023 4:27 pm
Reply to  Reddingtyguy

OKC plays tough. Limited talent but maybe less limited than than we think.
SGA is tough- a DeRozen clone and pushes off EVERY time.
Odd and quirky but sneaky good. They will get a high pick and a middle one and Chet back. They can shoot it.

Kingsguru21
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January 21, 2023 7:11 am
Reply to  lazlohollyfeld

I’d throw Denver in there too. I don’t trust New Orleans yet for health reasons, but they could be there. And, well, another one of those elder teams could surprise you. There’s a lot of season left.

Let’s just say I’m pretty happy with where this team is at.

BeTheBall
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January 20, 2023 10:07 pm

It may have been the beer, but I thought tonight showed us a glimpse into the type of player Keegan can reasonably become. A 20-ish point, 9-ish rebound on the reg, with capabilities of going well beyond those marks on any given night. If that’s his future, we knocked it out of the park.

Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 10:08 pm

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deltarich
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January 20, 2023 10:12 pm

Love hearing about how much his team mates and coach Brown continue to encourage Keegan to be more assertive out there and him taking it to heart. Tonight was a glimpse into the kind of complete player he can be at his peak.

murraytant
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January 21, 2023 4:29 pm
Reply to  deltarich

Keegan has been the fifth option. In college and SL showed far more versatile game- now – at least for a night, got less timid and played more to his level of talent.

Jman1949
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January 20, 2023 10:12 pm

OKC was lighting us up from 3 in the first half. But in the second half it was…

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Jman1949
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January 20, 2023 10:15 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

And that meant

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Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 10:16 pm

If these numbers were to happen earlier in the month against the Houston Rockets well let’s just say…. “That would be a shocker!”

TerzoM
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January 20, 2023 10:21 pm

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RPO
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RPO
January 21, 2023 12:07 am
Reply to  TerzoM

That cloud looks like it seriously has to shart.

Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 10:32 pm

Keegan Murray is a pure pleasure to watch play basketball.

Last edited 17 days ago by Ellis5
Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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January 20, 2023 10:39 pm

8 GAMES OVER .500!!! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY MIND!!!

Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 10:41 pm
Reply to  Klam

Play the blame game

TheBufferZone
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January 21, 2023 5:05 am
Reply to  Ellis5

India messed up your mind!

Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 10:39 pm

Harrison Barnes vs other teams
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Biscuit
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January 20, 2023 10:48 pm

Who’s wearing the chain tonight?

BuffaloDiaspora
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January 20, 2023 10:49 pm
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K’Von

Biscuit
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January 20, 2023 11:15 pm

Is that a person?

Kosta
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January 21, 2023 12:31 am
Reply to  Biscuit

Red Velvet.

It’s a cupcake, Biscuit!

murraytant
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January 21, 2023 4:30 pm
Reply to  Biscuit

yes, and it is his turn.

Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 10:49 pm

Breaking news the Lakers are the hottest team in the NAB!

HongKongKingsFan
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January 20, 2023 11:09 pm

Good win…..

Keep the focus and win the next game against the 76ers……….

deltarich
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January 20, 2023 11:20 pm

Ugh I’m already dreading having to be subjected to the way the Sixers play. Embiid/Harden are miserable players to watch

Marty
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January 21, 2023 8:23 am
Reply to  deltarich

Confirmed

RPO
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RPO
January 20, 2023 11:18 pm

Hmm… L*kers won. Guess what the first story on the nba.com home page is.

Kingsguru21
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January 20, 2023 11:20 pm
Reply to  RPO

Kyrie Irving dropping 48 on the Jazz in SLC tonight?

Last edited 17 days ago by Kingsguru21
RPO
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RPO
January 20, 2023 11:34 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Nope…

murraytant
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January 21, 2023 4:31 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I don’t care if the TV and NBA.com ignores the Kings Under the radar is good

Kingsguru21
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January 21, 2023 6:15 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Same here.

Ellis5
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January 20, 2023 11:23 pm
Reply to  RPO

Welcome to the forum RTO

RPO
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RPO
January 20, 2023 11:34 pm
Reply to  Ellis5

Rent to own?

Ellis5
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January 21, 2023 12:43 am
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Yes please.

fossilizedflatus
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January 20, 2023 11:29 pm
Reply to  RPO

Warriors win in Cleveland as Curry, Klay, Dray, Wiggins sit on SEGABABA?

RPO
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RPO
January 20, 2023 11:34 pm

Nope…

fossilizedflatus
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January 20, 2023 11:41 pm

Kings win this one on the boards and at the line along with a pull away 3rd Q.

Is this the first game that Domas has been outrebounded (Sabonis 13, Murray 14)?

Interesting aside – Did last DPOG Harris get a DNP?

Last edited 17 days ago by fossilizedflatus
DutchKingsFanInUK
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January 21, 2023 12:10 am

I think I caught it!

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The tenth wonder of the world.

Kosta
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January 21, 2023 12:29 am

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Kosta
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January 21, 2023 12:18 am

You know what, I actually did check tankathon and a draft prospect this fine evening.

Hobby916
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January 21, 2023 5:33 am
Reply to  Kosta

Keegan might get his brother drafted higher because teams see how Keegan has translated. Be awesome if the Kings were able to get Kris.

RAP87
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January 21, 2023 7:26 am
Reply to  Kosta

Kris as of right now is slated to go anywhere from 16-25. Of course I expect it to change as the season goes for college basketball.. If the Kings end the season top 6 they would be getting the 19-20th pick.. I wouldn’t mind getting Kris.

Kingsguru21
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January 21, 2023 8:39 am
Reply to  RAP87

Right now the Kings are at the 23rd slot. I think they have a decent shot at top 4 as of now. And they do have a top 8 record in the NBA as strange as that sounds.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 21, 2023 8:46 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

What’s amazing is that every single team that currently have a better record than them: Celtics, Nuggets, Grizz, Bucks, 76ers, Nets, and Cavs are legit title contenders.

outrider
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January 21, 2023 9:36 am
Reply to  Adamsite

It could very well come down to which of those teams is healthiest come playoff time.

Last edited 16 days ago by outrider
Kingsguru21
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January 21, 2023 9:39 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yep. It’s been a fun year, even if its been a bit unexpected. A 45 win team was something I thought this group was…. and based on their Win% they are on a 48 win pace right now. Beat Philly, you’re on a 49 win pace. Beat Memphis Monday, you’re on a 51 win pace.

This team is doing just fine. But I sure as hell would love a couple W’s tonight and Monday.

murraytant
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January 21, 2023 4:34 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Kris has more wiggle.
I would take him. then we could see opponents try to figure out who to guard

eddie41
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January 21, 2023 1:45 am

yeees! I am so happy to see the result, being that tonight, I was not able to watch the game but instead ironically .. well … better not share the crap I had to put up with, but … Kings win!

Kosta
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January 21, 2023 1:54 am

Ok, if you haven’t seen this latest episode of the Old Fashioned Three yet….

Earlier in the show, Phantom talks about how lefties get a few easy shots in during the beginning of a game because the opponents either don’t know or forget that they shoot with their left hand…..

Then, after a few minutes of Jerry talking about Snake Plissken and Escape From New York, Jerry tells a story you have to hear him tell about a junior college game:

(around the 47:42 mark)

Last edited 17 days ago by Kosta
Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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January 21, 2023 7:48 am
Reply to  Kosta

LMAO Jerry

Hobby916
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January 21, 2023 4:46 am

Solid effort, didn’t give up and kept fighting. Keegan covered a down night for HB, which is a thing that good teams do consistently.

Also, remember that time when Monk said “I need to be better” (or something similar to that)? That lasted 1 game. He hasn’t been all that good since the 12/29 game against Denver. He needs to be the guy off the bench to contribute consistently to sustain long term success.

Go Kings!

BabalooMagoo
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January 21, 2023 6:39 am

Great game Keegan, keep it up!

ajonez81
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January 21, 2023 6:53 am

If the Kings can stay top 6 seed to end season this year will be amazing. I really don’t want to mess with the play-in. Team looking good, will be interesting to see how we do against tougher competition like Philly. Good teams beat bad teams consistently and that’s what we’re doing. Light the MFin Beam Bish!!!

Last edited 16 days ago by ajonez81
Kingsguru21
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January 21, 2023 8:36 am

From 12/19 to 2/14 (Hornets game in Sac to the last game before the All Star break in Phoenix), I was ‘predicting’ the Kings would put in an 18-11 record. So far, the Kings are 10-6. So a tad off the pace (win any of the Charlotte, Washington, Atlanta or LA Lakers games and you’re right on that pace).

That all said, starting tonight against Philly, you have some tough string of games coming up. But….that’s for later in a different thread. Good win against OKC.

OKC was not a team performing below 500, certainly not last night. They came in thinking they could win and the Kings managed to beat them

You can’t let shooters get hot all game and expect to win, no doubt. But shooters do get hot for a quarter. Make adjustments, keep it from happening as the game moves on. OKC’s shooters got hot in the 2nd qtr, 8 of their total 16 makes came in that single quarter. OKC was 4-19 from 3 in the 2nd half. That’s called making adjustments. But even then, a lot of it was just Isaiah Joe getting hot from the perimeter (and he’s a really good shooter). Mostly though, OKC had a good shooting half from a lot of guys on their roster. SGA, Dort, Giddey, Kenrich Wiliams all hit at least 1 (and Dort 3-4). None of those guys made a 3 pointer in the 2nd half.

OKC was 16-40 from 3, Sac was 12-38 from 3. You take Keegan Murray’s 5-7 and Joe’s 7-12 from deep off the board, OKC was 9-28 and Sac 7-30. I know this will irritate people, but this team does play defense enough of the time to win games (at least in the regular season). They allowed 66 OKC points in the 1st half, 47 points in the 2nd half.

But then, despite the crummy officiating in the end that really is obnoxiously infuriating, the Kings ended up winning. But how? Both teams ended up hitting 29 2 pointers. The Kings ended up 24-28 at the FT line compared to OKC being 7-11 at the line. That’s how the Kings won despite OKC hitting 4 more 3’s.

The margin wasn’t even that close utnil the refs decided to let OKC push and shove their way around for the final minute. Consider this: The Kings committed 17 fouls but 13 of those were on the defensive end. Of those, OKC got 11 FT’s total. OKC committed 20 fouls themselves which resulted in 28 FT’s. Boom. Ballgame.

That’s the thing about this Kings team. Did they beat OKC in the eFG% game? Nope. But they beat them soundly in the ORB% and FT/FG (FT Rate) games. And they were very close in percentage in eFG%. Outside of De’Aaron Fox, the Kings were perfect from the FT line.

It was one of those games where you always hear about the “game within the game” type of things. It felt like Mark Dagineault was trying to push Mike Brown to make a mistake, only, realistically, Brown didn’t. It felt like the OKC players were expecting the Kings players to fold under pressure, only they didn’t. It felt like OKC thought they could win this game because of the front of their jersey. I get it, they aren’t the only team that has felt that way this year.

Just one problem, this isn’t your Kangz of old. These dudes weearing Sacramento Kings jersey’s aint soft. Not physically, flexing is overrated. Mentally. These guys don’t give in, they just don’t give in. It’s not just Sabonis, it’s really everyone. They come to play to the final buzzer. And you saw that last night. OKC has plenty of flaws (they have no inside game unless it’s Shai and it showed in the disparity at the FT line), and they are still very, very young. OKC really depends on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to get to the FT line to make up for the fact that everyone else on their roster doesn’t. They were missing Pokusevski and Holmgren but it’s not like those guys are post players either.

A good win all in all. You managed to get good performances from your stars (Sabonis, Fox), a great performance from your rookie (Murray) and you basically had a bunch of ‘another game another dollar’ performances from everybody else. There’s no shame in it, it’s just that what’s different about this team is they manage to win these games now. They haven’t in the past. We’re going to keep saying that moving forward, I suspect.

LIGHT. THE. GODDAMN. BEAM.

fossilizedflatus
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January 21, 2023 9:59 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Just one problem, this isn’t your Kangz of old. These dudes weearing Sacramento Kings jersey’s aint soft. Not physically, flexing is overrated. Mentally.

The smart eat the strong
-Pete Carril

(R.I.P. Coachie)

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 21, 2023 8:37 am

Good win. Keep the streak going!

I have to say, that OKC team is fun. They are playing competitive basketball without a true center. They got our rebounded by 17 and still took he game down to the final minute. They are a scrappy team.SGA is a legit star, Giddey is the real deal, Dort is legit, they still have Chet, and more draft picks anyone. Their future is very bright. Oh, why the hell did the 76ers cut Isaiah Joe? The guy is a steal for the Thunder.

Lastly, what is wrong with Monk? They guy is seriously struggling right now.

Gregoryl
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January 21, 2023 9:02 am
Reply to  Adamsite

OKC did EXACTLY what I wanted the Kings to do the last few seasons: tank hard, build a solid and young core, load up on draft picks. It appears the process is working for them.

RobHessing
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January 21, 2023 9:06 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

Yep. SGA & Giddey are legit. Poku has shown promise. Chet will be a leading ROY candidate next year. And they have something like 13 first round picks over the next four years to use or trade for better personnel.

Fun time to be a Thunder fan again. Hard not to root for the small market teams (when we’re not playing against them).

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 21, 2023 9:22 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Even crazier, SGA is the cagey veteran of their starting lineup, at just 24 years of age. They started 3 players last night that are younger then any Kings player.

I read somewhere that they are one of the youngest teams in NBA history and if you took out 31 year old Muscala, they would be the youngest by a fair margin.

Last edited 16 days ago by Adamsite
JoeEnzyme
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January 21, 2023 11:46 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I’ll never root for the Thunder. They should still be the Sonics. (Before the Maloofery.)

Kingsguru21
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January 21, 2023 9:27 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

OKC had better assets to trade. That’s the difference.

RobHessing
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January 21, 2023 8:37 am

I think that Murray’s TS% was over 1.000 last night (!), and he scored 13 in the 4th? Man, when you can overshadow a teammate’s triple/double (attained once again in the 1st three qtrs.), you’re doing something. And as a rookie? Mind boggling.

Winning winnable games that we should win. What a refreshing change this season has been!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 21, 2023 8:39 am
Reply to  RobHessing

It looked like the game is slowing down for him. He just seemed so under control on both ends of the floor.

Kingsguru21
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January 21, 2023 8:46 am
Reply to  RobHessing

My favorite part of Keegan’s game wasn’t his shooting Rob. My favorite part was the several rebounds he grabbed from OKC’s players and that dunk he had in that 3rd qtr. That’s the aggression he’s been missing.

We all know the kid can shoot. But when he starts doing those other things, we’re talking All-Star potential for the kid IMO. He’s that type of good. I’ve had a feeling since draft day that he’s a guy we underrated in terms of total top end talent due to his age.

Doubt Keegan at your own risk.

Last edited 16 days ago by Kingsguru21
RobHessing
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January 21, 2023 8:59 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Yeah, during the game last night I said to some friends, “Oh, Keegan is winning rebounds now?”

His game is so fluid it is easy to forget that he’s a rookie. He’s a 1st team all-NBA rookie right now, perhaps behind only Paolo for ROY. And it feels like he’s just scratching the surface of the player that he will eventually become.

I had Ivey over Murray. This has been a public service announcement reminding everyone why they should be overjoyed that I’m not the GM.

Kingsguru21
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January 21, 2023 9:29 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I had Ivey over Murray. This has been a public service announcement reminding everyone why they should be overjoyed that I’m not the GM.

Hey, that list is very, very long. There were plenty of Keegan’ites, but there was a lot of Ivey love out there. You were not alone. But here was my thing on drafting Ivey: You do that, you are trading De’Aaron Fox And what does Ivey do to help you in the interim? I get the BPA argument, but it was next to impossible to see how the Kings benefit from Ivey when you had Fox and Davion Mitchell.

Make no mistake, I’m not saying Jaden Ivey can’t play. He can play. How good he will become? Eh, I don’t know. This is why I like doing player A vs player B conversations.

Player A’s rookie season:

MPG: 30.3
TS%: 51.5%
AST%: 21.7%
TOV%: 16.1%
USG%: 24.5%
ORtg: 101
DRTg: 120
WS/48: -0.008

Player B’s rookie season:

MPG: 27.8
TS%: 47.8%
AST%: 24.6%
TOV%: 16.4%
USG%: 23.4%
ORtg: 94
DRTg: 113
WS/48: -0.014

Player C’s rookie season:

MPG: 27.2
TS%: 45.5%
AST%: 24.9%
TOV%: 18.7%
USG%: 25.3%
ORtg: 88
DRTg: 112
WS/48: -0.060

Player A is Jaden Ivey. Player B is De’Aaron Fox. Player C is Jalen Suggs.

Now compare that to Keegan.

MPG: 29
TS%: 58.9%
AST%: 4.3%
TOV%: 8.7%
USG%: 16.5%
ORtg: 113
DRTg: 116
WS/48: .076

The last time the Kings had a rookie making this type of impact? Tyreke Evans with a .097 WS/48 in the 09-10 season. Or, Isaiah Thomas with a .124 WS/48 if you want to take a guy in a more role player type of role.

It’s pretty spectacular what Keegan has been able to do, and I think he’s that type of rookie that will be better in the 2nd half than the 1st half. That’s what excites me.

outrider
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January 21, 2023 10:30 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

The interesting question to me is if he could bump his USG% up to say 23% or so while maintaining those type of numbers.

I think he could do it, or at least be pretty close. I would enjoy that.

Carl
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January 21, 2023 7:43 pm

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