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Raptors 113, Kings 95: A Very Kangz Performance

It was an ugly night in Sacramento.
By | 56 Comments | Jan 25, 2023

Jan 25, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings power forward Domantas Sabonis (10) drives in between Toronto Raptors power forward Pascal Siakam (43), center Precious Achiuwa (5) and point guard Fred VanVleet (23) during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings wrapped up their January home stand before heading out on a long road trip by hosting the Toronto Raptors. The Beam Boys entered tonight’s game rolling. They had just stomped on the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, clipping their heels as they chase them for the 2nd spot in the Western conference standings. They sat at the top of the league in offensive rating (117.9). And to top it all off, the city of Sacramento collectively rejoiced as the news of Monte McNair’s extension dropped yesterday. The vibes were pristine and primed for another Kings’ victory. Let’s see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 95-113

Sacramento Kings: 95 pts, 47.9% fg, 40.6% 3 pt, %ft, 29 ast, 34 reb, 19 to

Toronto Raptors: 113 pts, 49.5% fg, 30.0% 3 pt, % ft, 29 ast, 41 reb, 10 to

The vibes went from pristine to precarious to full blown ugly real quick. In what felt like their worst performance of the season, the Kangz showed up tonight with a disappointing showing on both ends of the floor. The Raptors outplayed the Kings in every sense of the game, and the Kings will now head on the road with the bad taste of this loss in their mouths.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good
  1. Uhhh?: For once, I am at a loss for words. Truthfully, nothing felt good about that game. How about this – the Kings shot 12-13 from the free throw line. Yay?
The Bad
  1. Sabonis Streak Ended: After 23 games in a row, Domantas Sabonis’ double double streak has come to an end. Sabonis flirted with another one, but fell just short with nine points, eight rebounds, and nine turnovers. Consistently disrupted by the length and activity of the Raptors’ defense, Sabonis wasn’t able to find any rhythm on offense and committed a handful of careless turnovers. Without his efficient facilitation, the Kings’ offense suffered all night long.
The Ugly
  1. Everything: The offense looked bad and the defense looked worse. Finishing with just 95 points on the night, the Kings struggled against the Raptors’ suffocating defense the entire game. The Kings were never able to find a successful flow on offense, shown in their 19 turnover total and a quiet 16 points from De’Aaron Fox. Toronto deserves credit here, as they utilized their length and size to deflect passes, disrupt cutters, and create havoc whenever the Kings tried to get in the paint. However, the Kings never responded to the physicality of the Raptors. Instead of sharpening their play, the Kings continued with risky decisions, soft passes, and settling for outside looks. The Raptors took advantage of the Kings’ hesitancy by outscoring them 58-42 in the paint and beating them 41-34 on the boards. Toronto was led by Pascal Siakam’s 26 points & 11 rebounds.
The King of Kings

Kevin Huerter was the thinnest of silver linings tonight as he led the Kings with 21 points on 5-9 from the 3-point line. It’s always nice to see Red Velvet go on a bit of a heater. I just hope next time it can contribute to a victory.

Operation: MCNAIR – Season 2 Watch

Tonight’s chosen charity is the River City Food Bank. Donate if you can and be sure to notify Will via Twitter (@WillofthePeople) or e-mail ([email protected]) so he can continue to track donation totals.

Up Next

Saturday, January 26th @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 5:00 P.M. (PT)

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RobHessing
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January 25, 2023 9:41 pm

Fire Monte!

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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January 25, 2023 9:46 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Trade Cousins!

Kingsguru21
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January 25, 2023 10:23 pm
Reply to  Klam

Something tells me Monte would have never drafted him in the first place.

But I’m a cynical Cousins h8r.

richie88
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January 25, 2023 9:45 pm

Current Programming Is Not Available.

deltarich
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January 25, 2023 9:46 pm
Reply to  richie88

They knew something about this game

RikSmits
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January 25, 2023 9:45 pm

Brown couldn’t keep Domas in the game for one more bucket and turnover? That’s sad.

Teams are watching the tape and understand that Domas is the linchpin. Brown and the team have to adjust.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 25, 2023 10:09 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I know the Raptors hounded him, but I think he simply just had a one-off horrible game. Most of his turnovers were unforced.

I’m not worried though (we of all people know that this team can be Kangzy sometimes) and luckily games like this have occurred a lot less this year than we are used to.

RikSmits
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January 25, 2023 10:31 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I think there’s a decent chance that his horrible gane had at the very least partially to do with the Raptors’ hounding.

He had 8 TO’s the last game, and is averaging 4.5 TO’s over the last 10 games. I think brushing it off as just one game is a bit too easy.

Fatigue is probably a factor too. If Sabonis, with his injury, was playing on the Knicks, I’d imagine there would be some remarks about Thibs running his star players into the ground.

I like Brown, but his minutes distribution for Domas has been bugging me a bit. I’d hoped that his minutes would go down since the injury, but they have been going up.

Kingsguru21
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January 25, 2023 10:36 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I like Brown, but his minutes distribution for Domas has been bugging me a bit.

It’s going to irritate you. It’s how every coach rolls. And Mike Brown is a coach.

But I highly doubt anyone would handle his minutes that differently.

RikSmits
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January 25, 2023 10:45 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I actually think that Pops was quite revolutionary in that regard, and set a trend for decreasing minutes of his stars and keep them relatively fresh for the play-offs. Another trend is having stars sit out as part of the load management.

Kingsguru21
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January 25, 2023 11:32 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

And you’re talking about when? 10 years ago? That’s the issue IMO.

Sure Pop was avantagarde 10 years ago. But this isn’t 2013 either. And Kawhi Leonard isn’t entering his 3rd season either.

I guess I just never expected that from Mike Brown. I see no reason to expect that now.

Jack
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January 26, 2023 12:55 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

If the bench minus Lyles are doing nothing then where is our load management

Jack
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January 26, 2023 12:54 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

They can’t

Jack
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January 26, 2023 12:53 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

They should go down but if Monty can’t find a reasonable big to back up Sabonis then it will stay the same. A good reliable big man who can rebound and protect the rim IMO is the greatest need right now.

Amonk81
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January 25, 2023 10:56 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Maybe seeing it wrong but feel like Sabonis low post setup and scoring has dropped? He’s impossible to stop down low.

MillersCornrows
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January 26, 2023 12:45 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Totally agree. Put Sabonis on the low block, spread out and give him some space when you need a bucket.

vestxpress
January 26, 2023 12:00 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Other teams have figured out not to go for his pump fakes in the low block. Unfortunately he lacks the athleticism and does not have the wingspan to get off contested shots without the pump fakes.

Jack
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January 26, 2023 12:59 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

What bothers me a little and maybe because he is tired but he has missed quite a few layups the past couple of games. At 6’11” how is doing this???

OldDude50
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January 26, 2023 3:29 pm
Reply to  Jack

Because he can’t really jump.

WizsSox
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January 26, 2023 12:30 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Teams are watching the tape and understand that Domas is the linchpin. 

Yeah…prolly first time NBA teams are noticing that.

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
satdawg
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January 26, 2023 3:08 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yep, one bad game and he got exposed. He’s starting to look gassed out there. They either need to load manage him for a game here and there, or all star weekend needs to happen now

Last edited 1 year ago by satdawg
aplumley
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January 26, 2023 7:12 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Plus two boards and he would’ve had a triple double.

Daydreamer
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January 26, 2023 7:26 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I agree that good coaches—and Nick Nurse is a good coach—look at the tape of Kings’ success and of Domas’ role in the offense and figure out a plan for countering that. The Raptors had the players to execute that plan. For that they all deserve credit.

Every other coach will now study what the Raptors did and try to do the same.

Now it’s Mike Brown’s turn. Look at the tape, figure out the Raptors’ approach, get together with the other coaches and players and collectively devise a plan of how to counter it.

Go Kings!

eddie41
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January 26, 2023 9:33 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

This is how I see it also. Not something to ignore.

It’s very similar to a couple seasons ago (or pick from many of last several years). I would counter it by having Davion on the court longer. Instead of having Davion just be a backup to Fox for 15 minutes, and be ready to save the day once every ten games, give him a promotion so that he is in the regular guard rotation for about 25 minutes. As the games get more intense in the 2nd half of the season, I think the team needs his presence out there and his ability to impact the game with defense. With Monk struggling, there’s no issue taking half of his minutes, and if it’s one of those days where Monk catches fire, then fine, ride the hot hand.

Last edited 1 year ago by eddie41
Jack
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January 26, 2023 1:01 pm
Reply to  Daydreamer

They can do this if the coaches are good.

Daydreamer
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January 26, 2023 2:03 pm
Reply to  Jack

Which they clearly are.

LALakerHater
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January 25, 2023 9:48 pm

comment image

NorCalKingsFan
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January 25, 2023 10:02 pm

I think this is one of those rare games where the players would have better off calling their own fouls.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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January 25, 2023 10:17 pm

Hot take:
The Kings aren’t as bad as this game (lose by 20 on home court to 20-26 Raptors) and not as good as the last game (blowing out the 31-14 Grizzlies by 33).

The turnovers made this an ugly game. It looked a lot like the loss in Boston where “bully defense” disrupted Sac. Well played by Nick Nurse and the Dinos.

BeTheBall
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January 25, 2023 10:22 pm

I’d say they’re around a 37 to 41 win team, but have caught a few breaks in terms of their overall health and the lack of health of their opponents.

RikSmits
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January 25, 2023 10:37 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

There’s this site that analyzis games lost due to injury and also making a distinction between key rotational players and end of the bench players, but I can’t find it.

I would imagine the Kings in the lower third. We have been quite lucky on the injury front so far. I hope it holds.

satdawg
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January 26, 2023 3:23 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

That, and the East is way better than the west this year who we play less games against. There’s a lot of factors but if this was 7-10 years ago 37-41 games would be about right

BeTheBall
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January 25, 2023 10:20 pm

This team seems a nose hair away from rattling off a 5 or 6 game losing streak. It will be interesting to see if Monte adds anyone, or if we roll the dice with what we have and pray we don’t drop out of the racedown the stretch.

Kingsguru21
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January 25, 2023 10:21 pm

The Kings have scored less than 100 points twice this season (this is the lowest point total for this team). The other time was the 99 point stinker in MSG Dec 11th.

Did I hate this game? You bet. I was there. It happens.

Rip it up. Move on to Minnesota. Take advantage of this upcoming trip and go 5-2.

That is all. We will light the beam again. Against the Dallas Luka’s. I guarantee it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kingsguru21
NinjaFetus
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January 25, 2023 10:34 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Went to both games this week. This one had a much different vibe than Mondays from the get go. Felt like the Kings couldn’t get a rebound, and when they did they gave it back in a TO. Hopefully just a one game collective brain fart.

Kingsguru21
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January 25, 2023 10:41 pm
Reply to  NinjaFetus

I went to both games too. And this, as you say, felt like a collective brain fart.

RPO
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January 26, 2023 12:21 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

comment image

Adamsite
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January 25, 2023 11:05 pm

Full admission, I predicted the Kings to win this one, but had serious reservations about it. I just didn’t like the matchups going into this one. I also just couldn’t understand why the Raptors were as bad as their record indicated.

The Raptors showed me they are way better than their record indicates. They are lengthy and scrappy, but they also struggle to score. The Kings, on the other hand, can score but struggle to defend. Not a good matchup for the Kings. The results of this game tell me the Kings still need to improve significantly on the defensive end.

Jack
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January 26, 2023 1:13 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Thanks again Adam. I have been preaching defense since the first game this year.How can an NBA team, I don’t care who, let’s so many straight line drives in one game. This has been happening since day one. If only the Kings could play defense at least the whole game like they do in the fourth quarter, not even the whole game but maybe three quarters look where we would be now? It takes a mind set to play defense so why can’t the Kings have some? I just don’t understand why they can’t.

Kosta
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January 25, 2023 11:11 pm

As long as we don’t face the Raptors in the NBA Finals, we should be ok.

Want2win
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January 26, 2023 5:33 am

No hand wringing from me….it was a bad game. I think we can go 4-3 on this trip. I would love 5-2 but it’s the road and we are not a perfect team.

I am enjoying this ride much as I did in 99…

tonight I say Go Kangz but come Saturday Go Kings and let’s light that fudging Beam!

BabalooMagoo
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January 26, 2023 5:51 am

No other way to put it, the Kings dropped the proverbial turd in the punch bowl last night. What little I saw of last nights game (thank you CSN) was awful.

ajonez81
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January 26, 2023 6:48 am

Nice write up on a crap game. Gotta bounce back, we’ve put ourselves in an excellent position and games like this happen to everyone. Consistency is key and overall Kings have avoided major slides. The Kangz fan in me always freaks out after these type of Ls, good news is we didn’t get run out of building by 30 like we’ve seen in past.
I will also say Nick Nurse has proven he can coach and sometimes a good game plan with execution and energy can make all the difference. Glad our coaching is strong too, it allows us to beat more talented teams at times as well. East is stronger than West this year in head to head record.

Last edited 1 year ago by ajonez81
rockbottom
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January 26, 2023 7:09 am
Reply to  ajonez81

Yep, crap game and likely a few more but this is a much improved team that is enjoyable to watch and likely have some wins against better teams .

Klam
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January 26, 2023 8:07 am
Reply to  ajonez81

Yeah, I believe that other than losing the first four games of the season, the Kings haven’t had major losing streaks as of yet, with three games being the most since then if I recall correctly. As long this team bounces back from yesterday’s game, I’m not worried right now. They are still seven games over .500 and the third seed in the West, fortunately.

eddie41
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January 26, 2023 8:34 am

In a game like that, I think the the Kings needed Davion on the court longer. He could have taken half of Monk’s minutes.

Jack
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January 26, 2023 1:17 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Might not be a bad idea. He needs to score a little though. Monk will bounce back you’ll see.

eddie41
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January 26, 2023 2:11 pm
Reply to  Jack

yeah, I like Monk a lot. The thing is, with all the difficult games coming up, and all the different types of opponents and strategies, and whether refs are calling fouls or not, etc., there will be so many times when the team will need its best defender out there. That will become the norm rather than the exception. it’s just a lot easier if he is already in the rotation with significant minutes (closer to 25 minutes than 15) and then the team/coaches can figure out how to best utilize him in that game and situation, rather than having to send a distress signal down the bench whenever the opponent is having its way. So which player would get a minutes reduction if the team wants to put its best defender on the court? Probably Monk.

By the way, Davion is shooting 50% on threes for the last 12 games. And if nothing else is there, he can always hit a deep two at 45-50%. Dude is a baller.

aplumley
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January 26, 2023 9:02 am

Domas’ worst game as a King. There’s a part of this that you just have to credit the Raptors. Their ability to collapse and recover and fill the passing lanes was just better than the Kings offense last night. Hopefully this loss brings some renewed energy and attention to detail and they can have a solid showing on the road. Would love to have an above .500 road trip. That would put them at 31-23, meaning they would need to collapse and have worse than 10-18 record to close the year to end up below .500.

SneakerKing
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January 26, 2023 9:35 am

Can’t allow the road team to shoot 97 attempts to the Kings 73. Even with the Kings shooting 40% from 3, it’s not good enough. Teams with big, athletic wings are going to kill the Kings every. single. time.

murraytant
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January 26, 2023 2:50 pm
Reply to  SneakerKing

that stat was a shock to me- lots of reasons but Raptors put up over 20 more shot attempts. Can’t win like that

cloudyeyes
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January 26, 2023 9:39 am

There are just some teams that teams struggle against. It seems like Toronto is made up of entirely 6’9″ guys with long wing spans. The offense for the Kings comes from passing. It’s hard to pass the ball when you have that many long, wavy arms flopping around. I could see a more ISO oriented team doing better against this defense. The Kings also suck on defense, which makes any team look good.

eddie41
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January 26, 2023 9:53 am
Reply to  cloudyeyes

true. and then there is the reaction. Kings became discouraged. No-one went for offensive rebounds despite the Raptors not leaking anyone out for fast breaks. 5 Raptors in front of any King to get the rebound. Most of the Kings shots were tightly contested. The Raptors disrupted the Kings game plan and the Kings did nothing to disrupt the Raptors gam plan. At least put Davion out there to slug it out.

murraytant
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January 26, 2023 2:44 pm

I am not an expert, but this is what I see: recent opponents including Raptors and Memphis are crowding the DHO (dribble hand-off). They push the defense out further to disrupt that. They crowd both the hand-off guy (DS) and the cutter guy- (anyone else). This has resulted in turnovers and less space for the DHO guy.
Part of the answer is back door, but opponents protect some of that. The next adjustment seems to be to cut to the free throw line, (like the offense against the zone) That opens up the mid-range.
and the answer is to run, don’t give them time to set up.

If there was a low post option and the outside is crowded there is more space at the hoop and less time to double. Right now, the Kings only consistent low post threat is DS and he is getting doubled and tripled and hacked like crazy. One on one he is tough, but 2-3 guys can ignore his pump fakes.
Kings need to adjust. That’s why they have coaches.
The side inbound play is also getting crowded. Kings used to get it to DS, now he has to fight for it. Back cuts? Lob to the rim from the in-bounder.?

On defense, Kings obviously let opponents get into paint.
Adjustments are needed- new personnel or adjusted scheme?
I really do dislike the duds- arrogant and entitled and full of themselves, cocky, petulant and mock opponents. However, at 25-25 they could roll off 10 straight wins and be right in the mix- they do have the talent. I want the Kings to finally do well and be as far ahead of them as possible.
I do not want “the same old story” in the West.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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January 27, 2023 7:55 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Good analysis. This is why basketball is such a great game.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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January 27, 2023 7:47 pm

Toronto came very well prepared at both ends of the floor–exploiting Kings’ weak perimeter and interior defense, and jamming up Sabonis as soon as he touched the ball. I had to wait a day to watch this as ‘Programming Not Available’ was in effect. Saved time and fast forwarded once game was blown open early in third quarter. However, I’m confident Mike Brown will shore this up–that’s the difference this season from the past 16.

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