Barnes’ Huge Night Not Enough As Kings Falter Late Against Jazz
Harrison Barnes put on another incredible performance on Friday night, but Utah was able to rally late and knock off the Kings
With a packed Golden 1 Center in attendance, Friday night’s home opener was a wild one for the Sacramento Kings.
Although they held a lead for most of the night, sloppy plays and questionable decision in the closing seconds would be too much to overcome as the Jazz outscored the Kings 29-21 in the fourth quarter to claim a 110-101 victory.
After scoring a career-high 36 points during Wednesday’s season-opening win in Portland, Harrison Barnes picked up right where he left off on Friday night.
Barnes scored eight of Sacramento’s first 10 points in the first period to energize a packed Golden 1 Center. Between Barnes’ strong start and Richaun Holmes’ three blocks in the first quarter, the crowd was into it early as the Kings took a 26-24 lead heading into the second quarter.
Golden 1 Center’s already active crowd got even more involved once rookie guard Davion Mitchell stripped All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell in the second quarter. The impressive defensive play led to a fast-break lob to Terence Davis, bringing every Kings fan in the building to their feet.
Tyrese Haliburton struggled during Wednesday’s season opener, scoring only two points and spending a majority of crunch time on the bench.
The young guard had his offense clicking in the first half, scoring 10 points (six in the second quarter) to join Harrison Barnes (12) and Buddy Hield (11) in double-figures. Utah and Sacramento would take turns going on runs in the second, but the Kings finished the half with a 52-46 advantage in what was an overall impressive showing against a tough Jazz team.
After leading 73-68 with 4:10 remaining in the period, Sacramento allowed a 13-8 Utah run heading into the final quarter, with Utah out in front 81-80 following a Jordan Clarkson triple right before the horn sounded.
The Kings put pressure on the Jazz early in the fourth, firing off a 7-2 run to take an 87-83 lead with 10:06 remaining in regulation.
After Utah took a 95-89 lead with 5:58 remaining, Tyrese Haliburton and the Kings answered with a 6-0 run to even things at 95-95 with just under five minutes remaining, with Haliburton’s breakaway dunk injecting plenty of life into the home crowd.
Down the closing stretch in the fourth, last season’s number-one seed in the West would flex its muscles as the Jazz ended the game on a 15-6 run to hold off a Kings team that was in control for most of the first three quarters.
No moral victories here, but Sacramento battled a very good Jazz team for 46-and-a-half minutes tonight. The last 90 seconds were very reminiscent to Kings teams of year’s past, with head-scratching turnovers and failed execution.
The results did not show up in the win column, but Kings center Tristan Thompson said on Thursday that “it’s important to take something from each game.” Tonight, this hopeful up-and-coming team had a great chance to learn from one of the NBA’s best.
Rounding Out The Box Score
It’s Harrison Barnes’ world and we’re all just living in it.
Barnes followed up Wednesday night’s career-night with his first double-double of the season on Friday, finishing with 25 points on nine-of-20 from the field to go along with a career-high 15 rebounds over 37 minutes.
After a career-year last season, strong preseason and incredible first two games of the season, it’s becoming very clear that Harrison Barnes is a massive part of this team’s potential.
Tyrese Haliburton returned to his regular form against Utah, scoring 15 points while dishing out six assists, grabbing three boards and swiping four steals.
Sacramento’s star guard De’Aaron Fox was kept in check, finishing the night five-of-19 from the field and missing all five of his three-point attempts during a 12-point performance.
Buddy Stands Alone
For 15 years, Kings legend Peja Stojaković held Sacramento’s franchise record for made three-point field goals.
Buddy Hield passed Stojaković on the list after hitting the 1,071st three-pointer of his Kings career on Friday night, hitting a deep triple in the closing minutes of the first quarter to take over the number-one spot.
Over 518 games as a member of the Kings, Stojaković drilled 1,070 of his 2,687 attempts (.398%). Hield had converted 1,070 of his 2,856 attempts (.409%).
Hield finished with 24 points on nine-of-20 shooting from the field and six-of-15 from three-point range. The veteran guard also pulled down seven rebounds during Friday night’s loss.
With Moe Harkless out due to hip soreness, head coach Luke Walton had to switch up his rotation.
Terence Davis got the nod in the starting lineup, while center Alex Len made his 2021-22 debut. The most notable debut of the night was Kings forward Marvin Bagley III, who checked in for Harrison Barnes with 3:07 remaining in the first quarter.
Bagley’s agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports released a statement on Tuesday night that said the 22-year-old forward was not included in Luke Walton’s opening night rotation.
Over 10 minutes, Bagley added two points and four rebounds in a limited showing.
Coming into Friday night’s home opener, the lone member of the Kings listed on the NBA’s official injury report was forward Moe Harkless (hip soreness). Harkless was listed as questionable two hours prior to tip-off before eventually being ruled out for the contest.
Harkless is considered day-to-day.
De’Aaron Fox was spotted with a heavily wrapped right shoulder on Friday night, but Walton said that Fox told him he was fine during the game.
It will be a NorCal showdown on Sunday afternoon when Steph Curry and the undefeated Golden State Warriors travel to Golden 1 Center to face the Kings.
Curry scored 45 points–25 in the first quarter alone–during Thursday night’s 115-113 win over the Los Angles Clippers.
Last season, Golden State took two out of three contests against the Kings, the most recent being a 117-113 win at Chase Center back on April 25th.
Be sure to get all of your Kings vs Warriors coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK, with pregame coverage beginning at 4:30pm PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh & Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner prior to a 6:00pm PST tip-off from Golden 1 Center.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings schedule
- October 24th vs Golden State Warriors
- October 27th @ Phoenix Suns
- October 29th @ New Orleans Pelicans
- October 31st @ Dallas Mavericks
- November 2nd @ Utah Jazz