The Miami Heat clearly looked like a team on a SEGABABA all game. Sloppy turnovers from the start of the game that hit eight by the end of the first quarter. They ran plenty of zone defense that the Kings shredded, even if they missed. Sacramento usually struggles against zone defenses but that wasn’t the case for much of the second. The Kings kept it close which was comforting due to the amount of games they were getting blown out in recently and had a lead they could close out in the fourth. They couldn’t so the game went to overtime, where the Kings eventually and inevitably lost.
Injury Notes: Richaun Holmes (shoulder) is OUT. Nemanja Bjelica (right ankle) is AVAILABLE. Jimmy Butler (hip) is OUT.
Meyers Leonard opened the game with the first five points on a big dunk and a deep three. Buddy Hield’s first three swirled around the rim and fell out, but his second was a pure swish on a pass from Nemanja Bjelica with Marvin Bagley providing a screen for space. A few possessions later, Leonard was hit with an illegal screen foul on Harrison Barnes and Barnes stayed on the ground for a while in pain as he grabbed his shoulder. Barnes didn’t get off the floor, thankfully. It took six Miami turnovers for the Kings to finally capitalize on points. Bogdan Bogdanovic looked lively and drilled a three, but Goran Dragic responded with his own, only for Bogi to strike again. The quarter would end 24-21 and it wasn’t very pretty for either side. Bjelica led the Kings with eight points in ten minutes.
Bogi opened the second with some crafty dribbling and finishing at the rim. Miami played in a zone defense and despite some good ball movement by the Kings to open things up, they couldn’t put the ball in the basket. Bagley threw down two impressive alley-oops in a row - one as he adjusted in mid-air to make the catch and the other on a reverse dunk. Bagley then finished another basket in transition at the rim. Hield later drilled a deep catch-and-shoot three and the Kings led 45-40. Bagley somehow saved a loose ball and it resulted in Bjelica converting an and-1 opportunity. Fox kept turning the ball over when he drove to the rim and had it slapped out of his hands. The Kings would lead 58-56 going into the half behind Bjelica’s 13 points, Bogi’s 12 off the bench including 3-6 from three and Hield’s 11. Bagley added eight points and seven rebounds while Fox sat at six points and six assists on 0-4 shooting from three.
The Kings had about four chances on one possession to get a basket and it finally came on a dribble-drive from Bjelica who made a reverse lefty layup. Bagley then intercepted a pass and ran down the floor for a two-handed jam. Fox continued to be off from three as another corner miss made it 0-6 for him. Fox would make two tough shots in the paint but as a whole, the Kings were settling for tough jumpers and it wasn’t working. Dewayne Dedmon was the primary backup at center, but you’d much rather play Harry Giles than what Dedmon offered. Hield missed some threes badly in the third, but finally saw one go down. The Kings had a 5-on-4 situation on offense, but they all settled for threes instead of attacking the rim and missed all the attempts. A Miami foul gave Barnes two free throws and the Kings would lead 78-76 heading into the fourth. All starters for Sacramento were in double-figures.
Dedmon ran right into Kelly Olynyk to open the fourth, so there’s his usual baffling mistake per game. Barnes attacked down low in the post and found a cutting Dedmon for an and-1 dunk, but he missed the free throw. Yogi Ferrell drilled a little stepback three to make it 85-79 on the next possession. Ferrell later got an offensive rebound on his own miss and then made an elbow jumper. A Cory Joseph basket made it 89-81, Kings. Miami cut the lead to 91-89 and took all of the momentum. There was back-and-forth action, but Bagley made two huge putbacks to give the Kings a cushion. However, James Johnson decided to randomly catch fire and couldn’t miss a three. Duncan Robinson buried a three to tie it at 103-103. Bjelica missed but put his own miss back in with 1.9 seconds left. Bam Adebayo clearly pushed off Joseph on an inbounds lob and tied it up with 0.8 remaining. Bogi missed a tough three from near the logo and we went to overtime.
Adebayo threw down a lob to start overtime and Fox fell to 0-7 from deep. Hield made a three and the Kings trailed 109-108, then followed it up with another swish from three. Miami led 114-113 with one minute remaining. Hield had a good look from deep but missed it. Miami would close it out, as good teams do.
Nemanja Bjelica, defensive faults and all, is incredibly important to this team. He showed that in this game, going for 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Marvin Bagley put together his best game of the season. He just needs some continuity on the court and avoid those injuries that has plagued his season thus far. Today, he went for 15 points and 15 rebounds along with two assists and a steal.
Bogdan Bogdanovic needed to bring a big impact off the bench and he came up with 14 points on 5-15 shooting and 3-11 from three. It wasn’t a pretty second half for him.
Bench help: Yogi Ferrell came in the fourth and made some clutch shots to keep the lead. Dewayne Dedmon grabbed eight rebounds.
The Kings could not from deep in this game, going for 13-51 (25.5%). Rarely do you win with shooting like that. They were 12-15 (80%) from the stripe. Miami shot 16-42 from three (38%) on a SEGABABA.
Sacramento had more rebounds at 49-42 and more assists at 27-26.
Miami had 20 turnovers, but the Kings only scrapped 17 points from them.
Sacramento also dominated the paint 58-44.
The road trip continues to Detroit as the Kings take on the 16-28 Pistons, who will be coming off a loss to the Washington Wizards. Tipoff is Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. PST.