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Kings 102, Knicks 99: SKAL FOR THE WIN!

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Skal Labissiere hits the game-winning three!

Kimani Okearah

What a finish!

The first quarter featured the Sacramento Kings off to a fast start. Bogdan Bogdanovic opened up the game with a three, en route to seven points in the first. Skal Labissiere also had a nice start, matching Bogdan’s point total with seven. Buddy Hield came off the bench and made an instant impact, scoring eight. Thanks to bad basketball by the New York Knicks, the Kings leaped to a 32-20 start.

The second quarter featured a story line we’re accustomed to as Kings fans. The Knicks cut into the lead thanks to Sacramento getting into foul trouble early. The Knicks even took a 46-45 lead at one point, but the Kings re-took that lead. Bogdanovic had yet another strong quarter, scoring eight to take his total to 15, leading all scorers at the half. Enes Kanter had a 12 point, 11 rebound double-double and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12. The Knicks didn’t score a single three in the half (0/9), compared to the Kings six threes but they only trailed 46-51 at the half.

Sacramento had a bounce back performance in the third quarter following a rough second. They would out-score the Knicks 32-26, including going on a 13-0 run during the period. They went up 72-54, but the Knicks fought back as they finally saw three pointers falling in the rim. De’Aaron Fox also had a much better quarter, hitting two threes. The Kings would entere the fourth with a 83-72 lead.

Oh man, that was one scary fourth quarter. The Kings were so close to blowing a 19 point lead as Sacramento had a repeat of that second quarter. As the game was tied at 99-99, Bogdan was set to inbound. The pass went to Labissiere who was going to give it back to Bogdan, but instead was forced into a three and DRILLED IT FOR THE WIN! And then Zach Randolph was called for a lame technical foul, but Courtney Lee missed the free throw. A missed three from Mars sealed the deal at 102-99!

Best Performers

Bogdan Bogdanovic: From the start, the rookie was on fire. Like mentioned, he was already up to 15 points at the end of the first half. He nailed a clutch two-pointer as Lee was almost sent to the floor and was set to hit the potential game-winner as well but it didn’t matter as Skal did it for him. He finished with 22 points on 7/11 shooting and dished out seven assists.

Skal Labissiere: Game winner! That’s all that needs to be said here. He had 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Add him to the list of clutch shots this season!

Kosta Koufos: Starting in the place for Willie Cauley-Stein who missed his second straight game, Koufos scored 12 points and added eight rebounds in 25 minutes. He shot 6/10 from the field as well.

Notable Performers

De’Aaron Fox scored eight of his ten points in the second half. He had an off night as he shot 4/12 in 28 minutes, including three rebounds and two assists.

Justin Jackson also had a terrible first half, but got shots to go in the third quarter. He would finish with 12 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes. He was 5/15 from the field, 1/6 from three. I didn’t expect to see Jackson attempt the most shots by a Kings player tonight.

Buddy Hield had eight of his twelve points come in the first quarter. He shot 5/10 from the field along with four rebounds. He had a much better shooting night than last night.

Vince Carter scored three three’s, with nine total points. He also was key in getting that call late in the fourth that saw the Kings get the ball back, when Michael Beasley lost the ball out of bounds.

Notable Stats

The Kings knocked down 13 threes on 30 attempts. The Kings made the same amount of threes in one half than the Knicks had in one game (6).

The Kings were also 11/11 from the line, compared to New York’s 13/18.

Sacramento was out-rebounded 48-38, out-stolen 8-5 and out-blocked 7-5. However, the Knicks had more turnovers and fouls. Each team had 21 assists.

Sacramento also shot 45% overall today, way better than the percentage they had last night against the Utah Jazz.

Quick Takeaways

Frank Mason III looked very good with eight points in 19 minutes. He looks very hungry every time he has the ball in his palms.

Emmanuel Mudiay was 0/6 from the field and 0/2 from the charity stripe for a grand total of 0 points! Tim Hardaway Jr. had 24 to lead New York and Enes Kanter had a 14 point, 16 rebound double-double. He only played a surprising 22 minutes.

I still don’t know what to make of Bruno Caboclo. Both of his attempted shots did not look good.