Rough Second Quarter Costs Kings In Loss To Bucks
Milwaukee converted 21 of their 42 three-point attempts on Saturday night
It’s always that one quarter.
On Saturday night in Milwaukee, it would be the second quarter that did the Sacramento Kings.
The Bucks outscored the Kings 35-19 during the second period to give themselves all of the space that they needed as Sacramento was unable to close the gap, losing by a final of 133-127–the team’s eighth-straight loss on the road.
Sacramento (18-30) has lost three-straight games and has now lost 11-straight games to the Bucks dating back to February 1, 2016.
For the first time since January 4th, Sacramento took a lead into the second quarter after shooting 56-percent from the field and 41-percent from the three-point line in the first quarter to gain a 35-27 advantage after 12 minutes of play.
While the Kings once held a 12-point lead during the first half, the reigning champs battled back by outscoring Sacramento 35-19 in the second quarter to take a 62-54 lead into the halftime break.
The story of the first quarter was pace as the Kings offense looked strong and aggressive on the break, while the story of the second period was completely the opposite. Milwaukee was able to adjust and Sacramento struggled to create successful offensive possessions.
If the story of the first half was inconsistent offense, Sacramento’s story of the second half was pretty much a re-run of games that we have already viewed many times this season: awful defense.
The Kings were able to rediscover their offense in the third quarter, but the Bucks matched Sacramento’s 32 points in the period by hammering a weak perimeter defense. When play entered the fourth, Milwaukee held a 94-86 lead–all without their two-time MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Although Tyrese Haliburton’s free-throws cut the deficit to 121-118 with under two minutes to go, the defense would act as a revolving door over the final two minutes as Sacramento allowed the Bucks to score on three-straight possessions to put the game away.
Sacramento yielded a season-high 21 three-pointers on Saturday as the Bucks shot an unreal 50-percent from beyond the arc on 42 attempts.
The Kings defense has been hard to watch all season long, but the team was just a matter of collective stops away from making this one a ballgame late.
Once again, it is clear that the offense is not the problem for this team. Defense, defense, defense.
Since December 30th, Sacramento has allowed an opponent to score 120 points or more four times. Help is needed for this team in a lot of areas, but the need for defensive reinforcements reigns supreme.
Tyrese Haliburton returned to action in a big way as the Wisconsin native posted his 12th double-double of the season by scoring 24 points (eight-of-14 shooting from the field), dishing 12 assists and also grabbing six boards during the loss.
Haliburton had his jersey retired at his high school in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Friday night and the sophomore guard had hundreds of friends and family in the stands on Saturday.
Harrison Barnes topped the 10,000-point mark for his career on Saturday as the veteran forward finished with a team-high 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field over 39 minutes. Barnes’ 29-point outing was the most points that he had scored in a single game since the season-opener on October 20th.
Terence Davis topped the 20-point mark once again, scoring 22 points to go along with seven rebounds over 30 minutes of action. Richaun Holmes looked more like himself on Saturday as the big man had his biggest scoring output since returning from Health & Safety protocols: 17 points (eight-of-nine shooting), seven rebounds and a blocked shot over 25 minutes.
- De’Aaron Fox was ruled out due due to left ankle soreness just minutes before tip-off on Saturday. Head coach Alvin Gentry told the media postgame that Fox felt soreness in his ankle during warmups, but added that he is not concerned about the guard missing more games. The team will see how Fox is feeling on Sunday, but with multiple off-days ahead prior to Tuesday’s game in Boston, the 24-year-old will have plenty of time to rest up.
- Tyrese Haliburton returned to action following a two-game absence after testing out of COVID-19 Health & Safety protocols on Friday afternoon.
Sacramento will play the first game of a back-to-back on Tuesday evening when they face Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics.
Last season, the Kings swept the two-game season-series as De’Aaron Fox’s 29-point performance led Sacramento to a 107-96 win in the most recent matchup between the two teams back on March 19, 2021.
You can find all of your Kings vs Celtics coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 3:00pm PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh and Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner prior to a 4:30pm PST tip-off from TD Garden.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
- January 25th @ Boston Celtics
- January 26th @ Atlanta Hawks
- January 29th @ Philadelphia 76ers
- January 31st @ New York Knicks
- February 2nd vs Brooklyn Nets