Game Recap

Kings 125, Trail Blazers 121: So it turns out you are allowed to win games

The Kings managed to end their homestand on a high note.

The Kings won.

*Phew*

Thanksgiving dinner will hopefully go down a little easier after the Kings managed to top the Portland Trail Blazers 125 to 121 to end their losing streak and finish their homestand on a high notes.  Buddy Hield led the way with 22 points off the bench, but some unsung heroes also chipped in to help the Kings get Alvin Gentry his first win as the Kings head coach.

There wasn't a whole lot of defense in this game, unsurprising given both Sacramento and Portland's struggles on that end of the floor.  The Kings ended up shooting 52.3% from the field while Portland was at 46.8%.  The Kings ended up shooting 9 more free throws than Portland, but only made two more.

Richaun Holmes was a late scratch to the rotation as he is still dealing with the after effects of being poked in the eye in Monday's game against Philadelphia, so Alex Len started in his place.  Len played just 17 minutes but managed to put up 12 points and finished a team-high +14.  He and the other Kings bigs were given the unenviable task of trying to stop Jusuf Nurkic, but the only one who was able to stop Nurkic in the end was Nurkic himself, as he fouled out after putting up 28 points, 17 rebounds and 5 assists in 32 minutes.

The Kings also got good minutes from their other back up big men, particularly Damian Jones and Marvin Bagley III.  Jones played nearly the entire second half and finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in 18 minutes.  Marvin Bagley had his best game of the season so far, putting up 10 points and 8 rebounds in just 19 minutes, as well as hitting two of his three attempts from beyond the arc.  Bagley's corner 3-pointer with 30.3 seconds left in the game put the Kings up 121 to 114 and essentially iced the game.

De'Aaron Fox scored 21 points on an efficient 8-13 from the field but was ejected from the game with 6 minutes to go after arguing with the official about an offensive foul.  Fox didn't let up after his first technical and was soon after ejected.  In his absence, Davion Mitchell took the reins of the offense and had some big plays, scoring 5 of his 16 points in the final five minutes while also handling primary defensive responsibilities against Damian Lillard.

Lillard finished with 32 points, but shot an inefficient 7-18 from the field and just 3-12 from three. Most of his damage came from getting to the line where he went 15-16.  C.J. McCollum also had an "off night", scoring just 13 points and shooting just 6-20 from the field.

The Kings were without Harrison Barnes for the fourth quarter after he sustained a foot injury.  The severity of the injury is unknown but thankfully there doesn't appear to be a fracture.

The Kings will be back in action on Friday when they head to Los Angeles to take on LeBron James and the Lakers.  Hopefully they can keep up the offensive intensity and pace they displayed tonight, even if the defense still needs a lot of work.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating tomorrow!

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Jman1949
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November 24, 2021 10:23 pm

Serve one up for Alvin!

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SexyNapear
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November 24, 2021 10:31 pm

The best thing about sports is you just need one occasional game to restore all hope and rekindle your passion.

Yes, the Kings will still likely suck going forward.

But every once in awhile…

RikSmits
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November 24, 2021 10:35 pm

Nice team win.

Apparently, Len told Gentry to keep Jones in the game. Love that stuff.

Not a big Marvin fan but kudo’s to him. It would have been too bad if his strong 4th quarter would have gone to waste in a OT loss after another late game meltdown.

RikSmits
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November 24, 2021 10:40 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Daydreamer
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November 25, 2021 7:29 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Some optimistic observations: I thought Buddy’s block of a shot in the fourth quarter was a highlight. Buddy played hard and for the most part within himself. He contributed a lot. What to say about Bagley? Is he maybe coachable? Could he learn to be a rotation player, getting boards and tip-ins (terrific tip-in as he was descending from the apex of his jump!), side pocket threes within the flow of the offense, play better defense, limit the forced offense and turnovers? If he could do all of that, he would be a serviceable and positive rotation player, as he is capable of learning/doing all of those things.

What to say about Fox? He continues to let people blow by him on defense. When he was praising Davion, he said something like “it makes my legs hurt to watch the way he moves on defense.” But this is a way of dismissing what he does as unlearnable; I don’t think it is unlearnable. De’Aaron will never have Davion’s compact, muscular frame, but a lot of what Davion does is about hundreds of hours in the gym practicing what he does. Davion learned to move like that. De’Aaron could learn some of it and be a lot better defender. It may be no accident that the stepped-up defense in the fourth quarter came after Fox was ejected.

Clearly Hali is the best they have at running the offense and getting others involved.

Most of these guys are younger and can get better if they put the time into it. I have no doubt that every year for the next ten years Davion will bring a little more to his game. I have hope that this is true of Hali. Fox and Bagley? Not so sure.

Nice win, grounded in stepped-up defensive intensity in the fourth quarter! Nice contribution from Jones!

murraytant
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November 24, 2021 10:41 pm

Well, I was totally wrong on this one. They looked so disjointed and demoralized in last 10 games. Gentry implores them to run, uses a far deeper bench. Bagley has some confidence back.
I guess you never know.
If they win 4 more in a row I can take the bag off my noggin.

MichaelMack
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November 24, 2021 10:42 pm

That was a very fun game to watch. At the very least, I want to watch entertaining basketball.

I am already enjoying Alvin’s rotations over Luke’s. Luke had a shocking lack of flexibility. The only thing I want Alvin to do is figure out if Fox and Tyrese can genuinely work together, and give this team an identity. Let Monte figure out the future in the offseason, but I want to see this team run, have some pride, and figure out how pieces fit.

JoeMama
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November 24, 2021 10:51 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

That was one of the 1st things I noticed is the greater rotation that Gentry has implored. Walton stuck with “his guys” even if they were down 20-30 points, not seeing that maybe you should try something different.

Amonk81
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November 24, 2021 11:28 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Good point in seeing if Hali and Fox works.

is it possible that , out of the 3 (Hali/Fox/Davion) -Fox ranks last in shooting, D and passing? It could, at the least be argued.
(Thinking of potential w Davion)

Bbmuteman
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November 24, 2021 11:32 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I think fox passes better than davion, but his d outside of short stints isn’t very good. He gets some nice blocks from just being athletic.

Amonk81
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November 24, 2021 11:43 pm
Reply to  Bbmuteman

Could be. He’s definitely not 1 in any. I guess the overall issue for me is Hali and Davion know how to play off ball and do well. Fox does not play well off ball

Bbmuteman
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November 24, 2021 11:50 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

That’s because he’s never been asked to. I wonder if he can.

1951
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November 24, 2021 11:08 pm

.500 ball in the Gentry Era!

RikSmits
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November 25, 2021 12:46 pm
Reply to  1951

Best coaching record since Adelman!

rockbottom
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November 24, 2021 11:08 pm

Very interesting how well Mitchell, Tyrese and Buddy played in crunch time !

Amonk81
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November 24, 2021 11:21 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

I’ve always liked Hali in crunch. He produces quite often. And Davion turned it up. Attacked. Confident. Loved that.

Overall the O seemed less 1-1 w Davion and Hali rather then Fox. 1/2 court O was existent with those 2.

RobHessing
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November 24, 2021 11:08 pm

Huzzah!

53B30CF0-525D-4F87-98ED-ED1A8E826568.gif
Ifeanyi
November 24, 2021 11:24 pm

Nothing like a W to start the holiday weekend

SelecaoKOJ
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November 24, 2021 11:40 pm

Bench showed up big. Harkless decided to make some shots. Blazers are awfully thin up front. Basically Nurkic and Nothing else. Zeller is awful. No Covington and Simons really hurt the Blazers. Gentry did a good job switching up multiple bigs. Blazers had no answer. I think Luke would have done about the same without Holmes. Playing extended Minutes for Len/TT. But, I don’t think he would have played Jones(that was a surprise) Hopefully Bagley increased his trade value a little tonite.

Blazers aren’t going anywhere. Mccollum/ or Dame need to be moved.

Lakers will be a bigger test. With Davis, Jordan, Howard and Bron. 2 games with Lakers 2 games with the Clips and 1 Grizz. Kings need to make up some ground for the play in. Winning 3 of 5 would be a start. Split with the Lakers/Clips and best the Grizz.

Wolves are getting it together and all of a sudden looking real dangerous with that Edwards Beast. He was eating good tnite against a very good Miami Heat team and Defense.
I imagine the Wolves will be active for trading. They will probably be looking for another PG to spell DLo. Another reason, I don’t think the Kings sit and do nothing come trade deadline.

Last edited 10 months ago by SelecaoKOJ
satdawg
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November 25, 2021 3:53 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Yea I think Dame’s days are numbered in Portland. He probably will request a trade after getting bounced in the first round.

Kingsguru21
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November 26, 2021 7:51 am
Reply to  satdawg

That’s assuming the Blazers get that far.

Bluejohn
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November 25, 2021 12:24 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Blazers could be putting it together or it could be a 9 game winning streak. Time will tell.

The most watchable and enjoyable game out of the last 10 and I was out of town. Crap!

Bbmuteman
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November 24, 2021 11:42 pm

Harrison Barnes injured his foot tonight. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious. Could be bad news bear if he’s out extended time.

keith_kar
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November 25, 2021 6:50 am
Reply to  Bbmuteman

I hope it’s not serious, the injury could dampen the chances of dealing Barnes. On the other hand, this could be a blessing in disguise because apparently other players on the Kings hungry for minutes could easily step in and equal Barnes production, as we witnessed last night.

I hope he’s ok, but no big loss, in my opinion.

Bbmuteman
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November 25, 2021 1:47 pm
Reply to  keith_kar

Can’t deal an injured player and expect a good haul. 😉

Bbmuteman
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November 25, 2021 12:04 am

Happy Thanksgiving everyone in the states. Have a fantastic day for everyone else.

Bluejohn
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November 25, 2021 12:26 pm
Reply to  Bbmuteman

Just curious Bbmuteman, where do you live?

Bbmuteman
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November 25, 2021 1:45 pm
Reply to  Bluejohn

Stockton, an hour south of Sac.

JoeMama
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November 25, 2021 6:59 pm
Reply to  Bbmuteman

Home of the Stockton Kings 🤙🏼

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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November 25, 2021 5:25 am

Things I am thankful for in no particular order.

Having a team
Having a new coach.
Having Marvin look happy on a court.
Having Jones throw down in the 4th
Having Len step up by stepping back
Having the bench IN TO IT!
Having KD drop “that’s the blazers eleventeenth” turnover”
Having KT drop “it’s a battle of the big D’S!”

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Thanks for making TKH so special.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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November 25, 2021 5:51 am

Ok, new plan..
Let’s build around Marvin and Buddy.

TerzoM
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November 25, 2021 7:37 am

MB3 the Tank Stopper 😀comment imagecomment image

BeTheBall
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November 25, 2021 8:42 am

Good win. Can’t read much into it until this kind of play happens a few games in a row, though. Though I will say that I was mildly amused watching Marvin scream at the fans after that 3. One can only imagine what he was saying to them.

JoeMama
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November 25, 2021 7:04 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

So he got a lucky shot in. Should we be celebrating that he is even taking those types of shots at all? Has he proven he can shoot 3’s?

Kingsguru21
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November 26, 2021 12:16 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I’d be a lot more excited if we’re talking about wins against the Lakers and Grizzlies on the road.

I think this group is capable of it. Will they? Eh, I’ll believe it when I see it. And I was generally more optimistic coming in than almost everyone around here.

HongKongKingsFan
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November 25, 2021 8:50 am

PLAYs of the day:

How about some D from Marvin Bagley...comment image 
Able to stay in front of Lillard, and with the help from Jones in the paint, forced a turnover

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Able to stay with his man, otherwise, it would be an easy layup

Daydreamer
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November 25, 2021 11:02 am

Nothing like a video to illustrate your point!!

Last edited 10 months ago by Daydreamer
sonny
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November 25, 2021 12:52 pm

sometimes a blind squirrel…

still predicting a so-so nba career for Divac’s foolsh #2 pick.

JoeEnzyme
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November 25, 2021 8:45 pm

I gotta admit, when MBIII comes in, I am hoping he does well, and gives me (false) hope that he could live up to his initial hype at least a little bit.

Inthestarz
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November 25, 2021 11:26 am

Team is much better coached. No one listened to Walton

On the plus – Gentry is going to make Fox play, and play back to Simmons value

CoreyBrewersD
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November 25, 2021 2:09 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

Amen…
Pretty sure last night was the first time I heard Kayte say
“well executed play after a timeout!”
Love to hear that a lot more often.
Also loved the wasted challenge on Marvin’s blocking foul. I see backing your guy as a better use of the challenge than waiting for a crucial call. Especially considering player development and confidence are more important than wins at this point. Might “coach has my back” led to MBIII’s semi inspired play??

Last edited 10 months ago by CoreyBrewersD
Gregoryl
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November 25, 2021 11:33 am
  • It’s amazing what these guys can do when they actually care.
  • I am fully on the Damien Jones bandwagon, he looked so comfortable out there and was making so many smart plays.
  • Fox’s ejection was unacceptable. Pure selfishness. The ref gave him plenty of warning and he still got kicked out. If the team had lost, we would be hammering Fox today.
Last edited 10 months ago by Gregoryl
rockbottom
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November 25, 2021 11:45 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

Seemed Fox was looking for a way out ! Not handling pressure or expectations as a max player well !

Kingsguru21
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November 26, 2021 12:48 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Fox’s ejection was unacceptable. Pure selfishness. The ref gave him plenty of warning and he still got kicked out. If the team had lost, we would be hammering Fox today.

I’m willing to slam him for it, but I have bigger issues than this right now with De’Aaron Fox.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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November 25, 2021 12:36 pm

Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope those who are celebrating have a safe and good time with family and gobbling down good food.

And as always, I’m thankful for TKH. 🙂

HoustonJP
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November 26, 2021 7:44 am

TKH Members, If you really want to punish yourself with wall to wall basketball NBA League Pass is available for 50% off for the rest of the season games. About $100.

The promo lasts through Cyber Monday. The promo code is HOLIDAY50PLUS.

The email I received came from League Pass.

ajonez81
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November 26, 2021 9:52 am

Never been a fan of Bags but you’re supposed to play the players you draft if you’re not a good team, you let them develop and see what they have until you become a good team, or their contract expires or you trade them. Keep getting those top 5 picks until one hits (better than Fox, instant All-Star).

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