Finally, we have reached the end of the road trip from hell. The Kings wrapped up this six-game east coast stay by making one final stop in Detroit to take on the Pistons. After a hard-fought win in Toronto just a few days ago, the Kings needed to find one last final push to send themselves home on a high note. Let’s see how they did:
Outcome: Kings win, 122-113
Sacramento Kings: 122 pts, 52.4% fg, 38.7% 3 pt, 82.8% ft, 30 ast, 33 reb, 14 to
Detroit Pistons: 113 pts, 45.9% fg, 34.5% 3 pt, 80.6% ft, 22 ast, 45 reb, 16 to
After a slow start and grueling 1st half, the Kings finally turned the jets on in the 2nd half and took care of business. They found that last reserve in the tank to end their long road trip with a win and send themselves back home with nothing but purple beams and good vibes.
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
- Finding the Fuel: The Kings entered halftime trailing by eight points after struggling on both sides of the ball. The Pistons were shooting unusually well again, because of course they were, hitting 6-15 from the 3-point line, while the Kings were only able to convert on 4-14 of their own. It felt like the long road trip had caught up to the Kings as we saw young Detroit jerseys flying across the court and Kings’ legs looking a little heavy from their long travels. But come the 2nd half, the Kings were able to find that last bit of fuel in the tank to engage the jets and take over. It started on the defensive end, as the Kings strung some stops together by securing rebounds and quickly transitioning the other way. It’s funny how shots start falling once defensive stops start happening, but that’s the magic of basketball, and the Kings leaned all the way in. Sacramento quickly regained the lead by going on a 17-2 run in just under four minutes to give themselves a seven-point advantage. From there, the Pistons managed to put some runs together here and there, cutting the lead down to as close as three points in the 4th, but the Kings maintained their control for the remainder of the game. It was great to see this team find a way to win together after a long and tiring stand.
- Stars Being Stars: De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 24 points and nine assists. Right behind him in point total was Domantas Sabonis, who logged his seventh straight double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds to go along with seven assists. Fox, imbued with the magical powers of the beamer band-aid, looked much like himself as he scored his nine field goals by getting to his sweet spots at the rim and in the midrange. Sabonis enjoyed some excellent two-man work with Malik Monk, who had six assists off the bench, as they picked the Pistons’ defense apart for easy baskets. When the Kings’ stars are playing like stars, they’re hard to beat.
- Consistent Keegan: Keegan Murray was the most consistent King tonight, finishing with 20 points on four made 3-pointers. His presence and timely shot making were felt throughout the entirety of the game and it was encouraging to see his confidence and impact for this team’s win.
- Slow start: As mentioned earlier, the 1st half was kind of butt. Detroit made a lot of their shots and the Kings didn’t. That’s all you really need to know.
- Glass Game: In what is becoming a recurring theme, the Kings got killed on the glass again as Detroit out rebounded them 46-33. Jalen Duren enjoyed the battle on the boards as he grabbed 14 rebounds and turned many of these into his 15 points for the night.
The King of Kings
The stars were stars and Keegan was consistent, but tonight’s crown goes to Harrison Barnes for his electric sequence in the 4th quarter to create the separation the Kings needed to seal this game. After hitting two free throws from one of his many aggressive drives to the paint, Barnes took it upon himself to make a huge 3-pointer with a defender draped over him on the very next play. This gave the Kings a nine-point lead with six minutes remaining. This felt like the conclusion of a great sequence from HB to give the Kings a nice cushion, but he wasn’t done. The very next play, Barnes stole the ball from Bojan Bogdanovic and laid it in for another two points and suddenly the Kings had a very comfortable lead. The icing on the cake came a few plays later when Barnes had a deep baseline drive that he turned into a sweet dime to De’Aaron Fox for this exclamation point:
FOX DROPS THE HAMMER ? @swipathefox | #RoarWithUs pic.twitter.com/di2ddmaPYh
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) December 17, 2022
Monday, December 19th vs. Charlotte Hornets – 7:00 PM (PT)