Good To Be Holmes: Kings Snap Losing Streak To Open Up Homestand
Tyrese Haliburton and Richaun Holmes provided Sacramento with a plenty of offense during Wednesday’s win
Once rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton went down last week with a bruised wrist, the wind seemed to have been taken out of the sail for the Sacramento Kings.
Haliburton returned in a big way on Wednesday night, flirting with a triple-double during a 128-124 win over the Chicago Bulls.
The rookie guard and center Richaun Holmes provided the big plays down the stretch, helping Sacramento halt its losing streak at three and pull back to the .500 mark (4-4) on the young season.
Haliburton, in his first action since last week in Houston, provided the Kings with a veteran-esque closing effort in the fourth-quarter.
The 20-year-old posted 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a big steal and score late followed by a three-pointer with 12-seconds left to put the game away for good.
Over 35 minutes of play, Haliburton nearly posted a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.
“I told a couple of guys in the fourth that it was winning-time,” Haliburton said postgame. “I wasn’t happy with my performance up to that point (in the fourth quarter).”
Haliburton was all over the floor on Wednesday night, providing the team with the boost they needed with De’Aaron Fox injured and Buddy Hield struggling.
With Fox possibly having to miss time due to a hamstring injury, Sacramento has a more than capable option to take over as the floor general for the time being.
The Kings got off to a strong start in the first quarter thanks to the play of Marvin Bagley III, who was one game removed from his worst showing of the season against Golden State.
After scoring 5 points on two-of-nine shooting in Monday’s loss, the 21-year-old posted a double-double in the first-half against Chicago. Bagley scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds over his first 15 minutes of action, his third double-double of the young season.
Amongst the off-the-court distractions that have made the headlines in recent days, Bagley was locked in against Chicago, putting forward his best game of the season.
The former Duke Blue Devil finished with a season-high 21 points and 12 rebounds to go along with two blocks and two steals over 29 minutes–also a season-high.
Bagley got help down in the post from Richaun Holmes on Wednesday night, who had his best game of the year against the Bulls.
The Kings center continued his trend of strong play, scoring a season-high 24 points on 10-of-11 from the field to go along with eight rebounds and five assists.
Holmes was scoring at will, only missing one field-goal against Chicago–a three-point attempt that was rushed due to an expiring shot-clock.
If the big-man can stay healthy, he can make a run for leading the league in field-goal percentage with this play.
Holmes took a bad step late and showed signs of discomfort in the closing minutes, but pushed through until the final buzzer sounded.
Luke Walton said postgame that Holmes shot him a look that said “don’t you dare take me out” late in the final period. Holmes stayed in and helped lead Sacramento to its fourth win of the season.
After the game, Holmes stated that he is “all good to go” and would receive some treatment on his bumps and bruises.
Another player that has done nothing but play well for Sacramento this season is Harrison Barnes, who had a big first half on Wednesday night. Barnes hit all three of his three-point attempts in the first-half, scoring 13 points before the midway break.
Barnes would continue his solid play in the second-half, scoring 20 points on seven-of-10 shooting and dishing five dimes in the win.
While there were plenty of positives to take away from Wednesday’s win, one big negative was the fact that the Kings’ franchise guard departed early.
Sacramento guard De’Aaron Fox left the game at the mid-point of the first-quarter after wincing in pain and grabbing at his hamstring area. Fox checked himself out of the game and walked to the locker-room shortly after leaving the game.
The Kings announced during the second quarter that Fox would not return to Wednesday night’s game due to hamstring tightness.
Fox is considered day-to-day, with updates coming possibly as soon as Thursday on the status of the franchise guard.
Buddy Hield, who has had a very rough start to the season, shrugged off another tough night against the Chicago to drill a pivotal four-point play late to keep the Kings out in front.
Hield’s four-point play put Sacramento in front by five with 38 seconds left and gave him 10 points on the night (three-of-15 shooting).
Forward Glenn Robinson III had his best showing of the season, contributing with 14 points on five-of-seven shooting and two-of-three from three-point range.
Robinson appeared in 24 minutes of action during the win, while center Hassan Whiteside did not see the floor.
The Kings were able to hold off big nights from the Chicago starting backcourt, withstanding 36 points from Coby White and 32 points from Zach Lavine.
Note: Sacramento opened up a seven-game homestand on Wednesday night, their longest since the 2016-17 season.
The Kings will continue their seven-game home-stand on Friday night when they face the Toronto Raptors in the first game of a back-to-back.
Toronto, the 2018-19 NBA Champions, are off to a rough start this season. Through seven games, the Raptors hold a 1-6 record–placing them 14th in the Eastern Conference.
Be sure to tune in to Sports 1140 KHTK for all of the action, starting with pregame coverage at 6:30pm PST followed by tip-off at 7:00pm PST.