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Kings 104, Bucks 109: Sacramento can’t overcome early deficit

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The Kings fought hard but were doomed by early mistakes.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings started the game by spotting the Milwaukee Bucks a 14-0 lead. The Kings trailed by as many as 20 points. The Kings were without Willie Cauley-Stein in the second half. And yet the Kings were within 1 point of the Bucks in the final 2 minutes. The Kings lost 109-104, but the real story was how the Kings never gave up even when they had every reason and every opportunity to do so.

Zach Randolph led the Kings in scoring yet again, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds, and two assists. Buddy Hield added 19 points off the bench, and Frank Mason had 13 points. De’Aaron Fox and Garrett Temple were the only starters who had a positive impact on the game.

Bogdan Bogdanovic hit some huge shots down the stretch to help the Kings close the gap, and JaKarr Sampson even made a surprise appearance and was huge defensively for the Kings in matching up with the length amd athleticism of the Bucks.

The Bucks had big games from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Malcolm Brogdon. Giannis led Milwaukee with 33 points and 13 rebounds, but those four all finished with doible digit scoring.

Its incredibly frustrating seeing the Kings play a mostly solid game, but play from behind because of ineffective starters. Dave Joerger started Fox, Temple, George Hill, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Kosta Koufos. The Kings have rotated nearly every element of the starting lineup, yet still have a tendency to come out flat. You have to wonder how much longer until Joerger recognizes that Hill is the only common denominator among all the ineffective starting lineups.