I can’t remember the last time I was excited about a Sacramento Kings basketball game, and that excitement really gets on my nerves. It’s an amazing and exhausting feeling to feel good about this team. With the momentum of a three-game winning streak going, the Beam hosted the Brooklyn Nets for their first nationally televised game of the season. The national stage was set up, the lights were brighter, and the host audience was not disappointed. Tonight was the Kings’ first chance to prove themselves in front of a league-wide crowd. Let’s see how they did:
outcome: Kings win, 153-121
Sacramento Kings: 153 points, 60.2% fg, 48.8% 3rd, 84.0% leg, 39 points, 42 reb, 17 to
Brooklyn Networks: 121 points, 49.4% fg, 39.3% 3pt, 90.9% ft, 25 ast, 29 reb, 17 to
light. that. packages!!! Under the gaze of the umpires and pressure from the nationwide public, the Kings completed their dominant performance that I think we’ve seen in the last 16 years. In a rare turn of events, I’m relatively speechless at what I just witnessed, but I’ll do my best to describe how beautiful this game is.
The good, the better, the best, and the rest
- Dumas dominance: Domantas Sabonis wielded his dominance early on, absolutely intimidating his showdown against the weaker Nick Claxton. Any time Sabonis was able to get even an inch out of a job position, Claxton had already won. Sabonis bullied his way to the rim for solid finishes, even as the Nets tried to field extra coverage. In 28 minutes, Sabonis finished with 17 points while leading 5-5 from the goal line. Once clearly identified, Sabonis used this dominance to engage the rest of his team. He used the extra attention to his advantage and found his teammates cutting and scouting for the open look. This selfless play resulted in seven assists for the big man. The Kings’ offensive domination of the entirety of the game began with Sabonis playing like a star from the start.
- Defensive execution: The Brooklyn Nets are kind of a hot mess right now, but they can’t be counted just because they have Kevin Durant on their team. And the Kings showed an acute awareness of why this man is known as the Slim Ripper. Durant still has some amazing possessions, as do all the great players of all time. He finished with 27 points, scoring 11-11 from the finish line, in 31 minutes. But nothing was easy. The Kings showed an early intent to double down on Durant, get the ball out of his hands, and dare someone else net to beat them. And oh boy, did it work. Facing double teams 35 feet from the basket, Durant reluctantly gave the rock to his teammates’ opening. The Stampede Kings’ defense from this point on was also quite impressive. Gray shirts flew around the court, hands reached the rafters, feet hopped about more than a deck of cards in a casino. The Kings’ continued activity in recovering from their double teams with difficult shutouts and fake coverage made it difficult for the Nets to make quick decisions in their favour. With three-quarters of the damage done to Durant, the Kings kept the Nets to just 7-21 from distance and forced 13 overturns. Frantic defensive energy paired with the precise execution of their strategy completely frustrated the nets.
- Non-stop crime: This game was very interesting. From start to finish, the Kings kept scoring. In the second quarter, the Nets came close to taking the Kings’ early lead and tied the game at 40 points. But then the Kings turned on the alien jets and never looked back. Their offense found its peak flow at this point with constant off-the-ball movement, sharp cuts, and quick decisions. The ball flew around the field, never stopping to allow the defense to get a break, as the Kings completed 21 of their 39 total assists in the second and third quarters. The defensive energy was clearly infectious as it seeped into their transitional attack. The Kings took advantage of 20 of 41 3-point attempts, and really felt like they were going to make every shot that left their fingers. We even celebrated Richaun Holmes’ 3 pointer late in the game. It was just one of those nights. Everyone joined in the fun and seven kings ended up with double figures.
- The purple lion is out of the bagThe purple ray is too bright tonight as every television across the country is lit up. Adam Silver enjoyed the electric atmosphere of the Golden 1 Center firsthand, and TNT’s NBA star Hades had to learn a few things about Sacramento Kings basketball. With such a dominant performance, I expect the league to be notified about the Sacramento Kings and no longer write this team as an easy night on their schedule.
King of Kings
Terence Davis is built for the big stage. His energy off the bench was more electric than usual, channeling all of his chaotic juice into an incredible performance. Davis was the Jets’ fuel for the Kings tonight, as he scored 10 consecutive points in response to the Nets’ scoreless evening in the second quarter. And he didn’t stop there. He was everywhere all night. Topping the Kings in nearly every category, Davis finished with a 31-for-7-10 3-point record, three steals, four assists, nine rebounds, and one very deserving crown.
Thursday, November 17 vs. San Antonio Spurs – 7:00 PM (Pacific Time)