Sweet Victory: Kings Snap Nine-Game Losing Streak With Win In Detroit
After almost three weeks, the Sacramento Kings losing streak is no more
Rejoice, Kings fans.
For the first time since Super Bowl Sunday on February 7th, the Sacramento Kings have won a basketball game.
Thanks to late-game heroics from Harrison Barnes and De’Aaron Fox, the Kings had just enough in the tank for a 110-107 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, snapping a dreaded nine-game losing streak in dramatic fashion.
With the win, Sacramento picks up a much-needed win after going through their longest losing streak since the 2008-09 season.
The Kings burst out of the game in a surprising fashion, opening things up with a 27-11 run to begin the first quarter.
Thanks to a strong half by De’Aaron Fox (13 points), Sacramento took a 55-52 lead into the break–a welcome start for a team that has not won a game in almost three weeks.
Feelings of optimism were quickly dashed in the third quarter, with Detroit outscoring Sacramento 28-20 in the period to take a five-point lead into the fourth.
De’Aaron Fox did all that he could for a depleted Kings offense, topping the 20-point mark for the 18th time this season. Once again, the star guard put on a show in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 89-82 with less than 10 minutes remaining, head coach Luke Walton would lean on a closing lineup of Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Nemanja Bjelica and Ricahaun Holmes.
Holmes–after posing a double-double in the first-half–provided the Kings with life down the stretch, keeping his team alive with his hustle and unparalleled effort.
Sacramento would battle back to take a 103-102 lead with under one minute remaining, leaving the most important shot of the night up to Harrison Barnes.
‘The Black Falcon’ would convert a huge step-back three-pointer to all but seal the win for the Kings, putting an exclamation point on a game that this franchise needed desperately.
Barnes would finish with 21 points, eight rebound, seven assists and two steals in the win.
It was the ninth game this season that the veteran forward had dished out five or more assists.
Richaun Holmes had arguably his best game as a member of the Sacramento Kings, scoring 19 points on six-of-eight shooting from the field and 17 rebounds over 33 minutes of action.
Holmes’ double-double was his 10th of the season–just three games short of his career-high (13 during the 2019-20 season).
The fan-favorite center had help down in the post against Detroit, with Marvin Bagley III posting yet another strong stat-line for the Kings
Although he did not appear in the fourth quarter, Bagley scored 18 points on nine-of-13 shooting to go along with eight rebounds over 28 minutes of play.
Bagley was sat in the fourth quarter in place of Nemanja Bjelica, who made his first appearance in three games.
With the Kings struggling to find scoring off of the bench, Walton opted to go to the veteran power forward for some big minutes down the stretch. Bjelica contributed with eight points, four rebounds and three assists over a very limited sample-size of 12 minutes.
Sacramento was struggling to find production out of its bench, largely due to the fact that their star rookie and backup floor general was sidelined due to injury.
Rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton missed Friday night’s game due to calf soreness, resulting in the young guard missing his third game of the season.
Walton said pregame that the 20-year-old will be evaluated by the team’s medical staff tomorrow when the Kings travel back to Sacramento.
“He is going to be evaluated tomorrow, then we will have an idea on if he will be available for Sunday (vs Charlotte),” Walton said after the game on Haliburton’s status.
Sacramento desperately missed Haliburton’s presence in Detroit, with the Kings bench being outscored 34-10 by the Pistons.
While it was only one win, putting a stop to the nine-game losing streak is a significant step in righting the ship that is this 2020-21 season. By avoiding the loss, the Kings just narrowly missed its first 10-game losing streak since the 1997-98 season.
Crazily–and almost hilariously–enough, the Sacramento Kings are just three games out of the 10th spot in the Western Conference Standings.
In a season that has been strange for a variety of reasons, the fact that a team can lose nine games in-a-row and still technically be in the hunt is beyond understanding.
But it doesn’t matter when it comes down to it.
What matters is this: what direction will general manager Monte McNair steer this team towards once the NBA Trade Deadline approaches?
With the Kings back in the win column, those questions will get louder and louder as the deadline approaches.
Sacramento will return to Golden 1 Center on Sunday night to face Rookie of the Year candidate LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets.
Last season, Charlotte swept the two-game series against the Kings, as the Hornets have won eight out of the last 10 matchups between the teams dating back to the 2015-16 season.
Be sure to tune in for all of the action right here on Sports 1140 KHTK, starting with pregame coverage at 6:30pm PST to get you ready for tip-off at 7:00pm PST.