The fun of watching the Sacramento Kings from last season has been completely eviscerated in three games. It’s one thing to lose to a team better than you, but it’s another to be out of it before halftime. Both teams were on a back-to-back with Utah arriving in Salt Lake City at 2 a.m. The Kings struggled on SEGABABA’s last season and that continues to be a problem as they showed no signs of life after the first few minutes. This simply cannot continue but it gets tougher come Monday.
The Kings trailed by ten four different times in the opening quarter, 18-8, 28-18, 33-23 and 35-25. Bojan Bogdanovic came out firing for the Jazz, scoring 12 points on 5-7 shooting. Joe Ingles came off the bench and made two three pointers and even Mike Conley had a much better quarter than his previous two games. But even Conley couldn’t stay in front of a visibly slower De’Aaron Fox. Fox finished the quarter with seven points and four assists. Dewayne Dedmon opened the game out strong with nine points on 3-3 shooting including two from deep, two rebounds and one block. Utah shot a nice 6-9 from three and the Kings went 4-6, but six turnovers granted the Jazz 10 points which was the deficit they faced after one.
Sacramento only scored 18 in the second quarter and allowed a 10-0 run by Utah to end the quarter at 66-41. Utah was a scorching 13-22 from deep with Bojan leading the way with 23 on 9-14 shooting. The Kings on the other hand continued to turn the ball over and no one attempted to put the team on their back. Fox and Dedmon led the team with nine points each while Bogdan Bogdanovic scored eight points on 3-5 shooting. Trevor Ariza, Cory Joseph and Richaun Holmes combined for two points in 20 minutes.
Utah grew their lead to over 30 and Luke Walton took the starters out with four minutes gone in the third. The Kings only scored 17 points, one point better than their second quarter outing. Utah now shot 16-29 from deep. The best highlight came from Holmes postering Rudy Gobert on a pick-and-roll with Joseph.
The fourth quarter featured the bench players and nothing too eventful occurred. Wenyen Gabriel had a nice contested finish down low but ended the game 3-9 shooting.
Dewayne Dedmon led the team with 11 points, six rebounds and started 3-3, but ended 3-8. He also had a team high seven turnovers.
Buddy Hield drilled the first shot of the game for three, but went 0-6 the rest of the 20 minutes he played for just three points.
De’Aaron Fox visibily played hurt, but finished with nine points and five assists on 3-9 shooting.
Bogdan Bogdanovic led the bench with 10 points on 3-7 shooting with two rebounds and two assists.
The Kings shot 30-81 for 37 percent compared to 44-77 (57.1%) for Utah.
Sacramento finished with four fast break points, a complete shift of their identity last season that led to success. Utah had 12.
Sacramento had another good game from the stripe, going 14-17 for 82.4%.
Utah had more turnovers with 22 compared to 17 for Sacramento but when the Kings had their key players on the floor, they turned the ball over more often.
Utah outrebounded the Kings 43-30 and had more assists at 28-16. Sacramento’s offense is massively lacking ball movement. They’re relying on iso plays to get them points and whoever doesn’t have the ball is stationary in their position. Frustrating to watch.
The Kings will host the 2-0 Denver Nuggets on Monday at 7:00 p.m. PST. Denver will have an extra day of rest as they come off a one point victory over Phoenix at home in overtime.