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Kings 131, Thunder 120: The First Win for the Young Superteam!

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Woah, woah, woah

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The first win for the ‘superteam, just young’ kids has arrived! Who would’ve thought that the Sacramento Kings would be able to have this kind of performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder? Who would’ve thought that Iman Shumpert would have 26 points? Who would’ve thought that Justin Jackson would look decent again?

Time for the recap.

First Quarter Observations

  • WCS misses off the spin move
  • Paul George hits a three, followed by Iman Shumpert’s three
  • Buddy Hield and-1
  • Westbrook is good #analysis
  • Bjelica deep three, later gets blocked by Steven Adams
  • Hield to Bjelica! Great lay-up
  • Shumpert another three!
  • Hield takes on Adams
  • Marvin Bagley enters
  • Adams is getting it done for OKC
  • Giles great find to Shump (twice)
  • Skal Labissiere enters
  • Yogi Ferrell somehow got that to go and played great defense
  • 34-32 Sacramento lead

Second Quarter Observations

  • All these OKC lobs are easy points
  • Bagley putback!
  • Justin Jackson missed an open three
  • Bagley an and-1 opportunity after missing one earlier (and a bad call by the refs)
  • Fox a three!
  • Bjelica another deep three!
  • WCS A DUNK off Bjelica forced turnover
  • Bjelica a block as well
  • Jackson a floater, where his points come from
  • WCS gets into foul trouble
  • Ben McLemore sighting
  • A no call on Westbrook gives a foul to Giles
  • A great ending to the first half thanks to Bagley and Yogi!! 68-56 is the score.

Third Quarter Observations

  • Tough finish by Buddy to score
  • Willie has been unable to hang defensively with Adams
  • Buddy gets the w i d e open three to go
  • I can live with Westbrook taking all of these threes
  • The second chance points for OKC
  • OKC with a huge momentum shift to end the third quarter, lead is 97-90

Fourth Quarter Observations

  • It’s Jackson finally with a big three!
  • JJ with another basket
  • Thunder cutting into the lead
  • Bagley challenging Adams for two
  • Bagley with the and-1 from Jackson’s feed
  • Shumpert banks it in
  • Wow Jackson, a terrible turnover
  • Kings close this one out 131-120

Best Players

Iman Shumpert was very critical in this game. If he doesn’t have this performance, it’s a different story and a different game. He started to have a bigger defensive impact against Paul George but also had a huge impact on offense with 26 points (9/13 shooting) and three steals in 30 minutes.

De’Aaron Fox played 41 minutes! He delivered in every single one of those minutes with a 22 point, 10 assist double-double. The Kings have a real star in their palms now and Fox just keeps getting better with each game.

Buddy Hield is a starting caliber player. There’s no way around that. Yet again, he scored 17 points (a very quiet 17) in 23 minutes and also grabbed five rebounds. The starting lineup when Bogdan Bogdanovic returns better have Fox, Buddy and Bogi or else...

Some Interesting Storylines

I had a urge to place Justin Jackson in the category above, but I couldn’t. His turnover in the late fourth was absolutely horrible, there’s no way around that, either. It didn’t cost the Kings the game, though. He scored 11 points and had five rebounds in 26 minutes. He saw a tough three go in and he made some nice shots and converted his free throws in the fourth as well. I’m hoping to see him make more next time out.

Frank Mason scored 18 points in the last game, but didn’t get a single minute in this one.

Don’t forget about Nemanja Bjelica’s performance today. He played 30 minutes and scored 12 points on 5/6 shooting to go with five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

WCS got into foul trouble thanks to Steven Adams, but I thought he did well given the circumstances to have 13 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes (some of those were dunks late in the fourth but they count, don’t hate).

Rookie Bigs

Marvin Bagley played well today in 23 minutes. He struggled with his shots but delivered some clutch baskets in the fourth. He would score 13 and grab seven rebounds as well.

Harry Giles and fouls. Giles had four fouls but played his best game so far, going for eight points and six rebounds in 16 minutes. He gave two great assists as well.

Notable Stats

The Kings shot 54.9 percent from the field (50/91) and 21/28 on free throws.

They were out-rebounded 63-54 (the second chance points) but won the assist battle 28-23.

They also had one less turnover than OKC, 17-18.

The Game in One Sentence

I am thoroughly impressed by the Kings today, much more than I have been in a while.

Next Game

The Kings face the Nuggets in Denver this Tuesday at 6:00 PM PST.