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Kings 111, Magic 95: Back in the win column

The Kings snapped a four-game losing skid with a relatively easy win over the Orlando Magic.

Kimani Okearah

After playing well for four games and still losing to playoff-caliber opponents, the Sacramento Kings came in and got the job done against the Orlando Magic. With the win, the Kings sweep the season series over the Magic 2-0 and also move back to .500 with a record of 20-20.

The first quarter started with a Nikola Vucevic vs. Willie Cauley-Stein battle. For every Vucevic basket, Cauley-Stein answered with a lob dunk. Vucevic had eight points and five rebounds in nine minutes. Cauley-Stein had six points and three rebounds in eight minutes. De’Aaron Fox was credited for three steals (Orlando was sloppy with the ball) which resulted in six easy points. Buddy Hield knocked down two early threes and we also saw the return of Marvin Bagley, who grabbed two rebounds and scored three points (one free throw and one fadeaway in the post). Orlando was 6-20 from the field, but were converting from the free throw stripe going 11-13. Bagley was the only King who attempted free throws, going 1-2. Kings led 29-25 after the first.

Sacramento scored 29 points for two consecutive quarters and extended their lead as the Magic could not buy a basket for several minutes into the second. Orlando only scored 17 in this period. The bench unit did their thing with Harry Giles, Yogi Ferrell and Justin Jackson all adding good minutes. Yogi hit two threes, Giles had four points, three rebounds, one assist and a steal and Jackson added five points, two rebounds and a beautiful assist to Nemanja Bjelica. Fox scored 11 to lead Sacramento in scoring. Vucevic led Orlando with 12 and Evan Fournier scored 11, going 3-4 from deep. Kings led 58-42 after two quarters.

The second half was another good one for Sacramento, outscoring Orlando 32-20. Fox took his point total to 20 on 9-14 shooting. He would be 9-10 if it wasn’t for four missed threes. He also had five steals and a dunk on Vucevic that resulted in a technical foul. Willie had a double-double by the five minute mark in the third quarter. Jackson, Bagley and Ferrell all had eight off the bench. Vucevic led Orlando with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Fournier scored 15 and Terrance Ross had 10 off the bench. The quarter ended 90-62.

Some minor scares in the fourth quarter, with Orlando’s bench unit bringing the lead down to 14. Orlando outscored Sacramento 32-21 in the final period which saw the likes of Frank Mason, Ben McLemore and Skal Labissiere come in. Kings break the losing streak and go back to .500 with a 111-95 victory.

Best Players

De’Aaron Fox came out and got the job done today. He struggled shooting against Golden State (3-12) but was 9-14 today for 20 points. He’s 0-7 from three in the last two games but was 9-10 from shots inside the perimeter tonight. Fox grabbed three rebounds, two assists and five steals. 23 minutes is good for Fox on a back-to-back.

Buddy Hield scored 13 points on 5-10 shooting and 3-6 from three. Hield also grabbed three rebounds and had one assist. He played 25 minutes.

Bogdan Bogdanovic played 32 minutes, the most out of any King. He struggled from the field in the first half, but saw more shots go down in the following half. He finished with 15 points on 6-15 shooting, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out seven assists and had a steal.

Willie Money Watch

Willie Cauley-Stein played 18 minutes and had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. He also had two assists. Finishing around the rim was a struggle (5-11 overall) but he got a lot of points from easy lobs.

Notable Stats

Marvin Bagley scored eight points (2-7 shooting) and grabbed six rebounds in 20 minutes in his first game back from injury. Kings with a blowout win with Bagley back? Coincidence?

Sacramento out-rebounded Orlando 57-46. Bagley was back and the Kings easily won the rebound battle. Coincidence?

The Kings were 11-20 from the free throw line, which does need improvement.

Sacramento won the assist battle 24-15. They also had 27 points off 16 Orlando turnovers.

Kings dominated the paint 64-24.

The Game in One Sentence

Marvin Bagley returns and the Kings get a blowout win.

Next Game

The back-to-back returns with the Kings going to Phoenix to take on the Suns at 6:00 PM PST. Phoenix are more healthy now so don’t underestimate them.