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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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