Embiid, 76ers Snap Sacramento’s Four-Game Winning Streak
De’Aaron Fox topped the 30-point mark once again, but it wasn’t enough for Sacramento on Tuesday night
The Sacramento Kings arguably had their most exciting quarter of the season on Tuesday night, with a furious second quarter run putting the team in position to win its fifth game in-a-row.
Unfortunately, the three-point shooting would go cold for most of the second-half, allowing the Philadelphia 76ers to fight their way to a 119-111 win over the Kings on Tuesday night at the Golden 1 Center.
Although Sacramento (12-12) couldn’t pick up another win against a strong 76ers team, the game was there for the taking–a game against arguably a top-three team in the NBA.
The loss snaps the Kings’ four-game winning streak that dated back to February 1st in New Orleans.
76ers star duo Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris single-handedly outscored Sacramento in the fourth quarter 22-20, with the Kings being outscored 32-20 total in the final frame.
After knocking down 11 triples in the first-half, the Sacramento offense struggled to find the long-ball late, costing them a chance to pick up their fifth consecutive win against a very strong Philadelphia team.
The Kings had plenty of good looks during the fourth quarter, but the Philadelphia defense was able to cool off the Sacramento offense en route to their Eastern Conference-best 18th win of the season.
Sacramento trailed 46-32 in the second quarter before the three-headed monster of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton went on an absolutely electrifying run to give the Kings a 71-66 lead at the break.
Fox, the Western Conference Player of the Week, scored 23 points and dished out seven assists in the first half.
The hopeful All-Star guard was not the only guard to show out in the first half, with Buddy Hield (17 points, five made three-pointers) and Tyrese Haliburton (15 points) each finished in double-figures over the first 24 minutes of action.
For the seventh-consecutive game, Fox finished with 20 or more points, finishing with 34 points and 10 assists in yet another gutsy performance by the talented speedster.
It’s the second-straight 30-point game for Fox as well, with the 23-year-old scoring 36 points during Sunday’s win in Los Angeles.
After three seasons in the league, it all has culminated to this point for De’Aaron Fox. He is playing like not only a strong player on the Kings roster, but playing like one of the better players in the entire NBA.
Philadelphia honed in Fox in the second-half, holding him to four-of-17 from the field over the final 24 minutes. 76ers coach Doc Rivers knew that taking Fox out of the game would be enough for Philadelphia, and that is exactly what happened.
Mattise Thybulle did a phenomenal job on Fox late, causing the Kings guard to force shots and give up some looks to other teammates.
Tyrese Haliburton, who has been on an offensive tear as of late, continued that trend with 15 points on three-of-four shooting from the three-point line.
The rookie guard lost his aggressiveness in the second half, finishing with 0 points over the final two quarters. Haliburton made up for the lack of offense with his incredible defensive efforts, finishing with two steals and two blocks in the loss.
After a rough stretch of shooting that included the end of an 87-game three-point field goal streak, Buddy Hield was back to his old ways on Tuesday night.
The sharpshooter knocked down six three-point field goals, finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists over 38 minutes.
Due to Richaun Holmes getting into foul trouble early, Marvin Bagley III was given extended minutes at the center position on Tuesday night.
Bagley was tasked with defending All-Star big and MVP contender Joel Embiid, arguably the 21-year-old’s most difficult defensive assignment yet in his young career.
With Holmes sidelined, Bagley provided solid defense on Embiid, drawing multiple offense foul calls while also scoring 17 points and grabbing six rebounds over 29 very impressive minutes of action.
With Holmes on the bench with five fouls, Bagley was on the floor for a solid chunk of the fourth quarter, knocking down a big three late to keep the Kings within five points.
Embiid (25 points, 17 rebounds) and Harris (22 points, 10 rebounds) would put the game away at the free-throw line in the closing seconds.
You can’t win them all, but this game was there for the taking.
Sacramento went cold from the three-point line in the second-half, and quite frankly, it cost them the win on Tuesday night. After recovering from a rough first quarter, the game was all Kings up until the fourth quarter.
We saw a similar storyline in the fourth that we witnessed in the first, with Philadelphia scoring at will and the Kings struggling to respoond.
Winning seven of nine and being .500 after 24 games is still something that Kings fans should feel comfortable hanging their hats on, as this Sacramento squad has taken games just like Tuesday’s away from other teams during this run.
Sacramento looked poised for most of the game against Philadelphia, proving that they can run with any team on any given night. The shots will fall. Mistakes will be fixed. One thing is certain at this very moment:
This team is here to play.
After playing three games over four days, the Kings will enjoy a two-day break before facing the Orlando Magic on Friday night at Golden 1 Center.
Orlando will be without the services of power forward Aaron Gordon, who is out four-to-six weeks due to a sprained ankle.
In their only meeting this season, Sacramento defeated the Magic by a final of 121-107 at the Amway Center in Orlando back on January 27th.
Be sure to tune in for all of the action right here on Sports 1140 KHTK, starting with pregame action at 3:00pm PST on The Jason Ross & Doug Christie Show followed by a 7:00pm PST tip-off.
Upcoming Kings Schedule
- 2/12: vs Orlando Magic
- 2/14: vs Memphis Grizzlies
- 2/15: vs Brooklyn Nets
- 2/18: vs Miami Heat
- 2/20: @ Chicago Bulls