Things were looking great for about 42 minutes for the Sacramento Kings in their home opener against the Utah Jazz. The crowd was buzzing and the Kings were in a really competitive, back and forth game against one of the best teams in the western conference.
And then, in the fourth quarter the Utah defense completely clamped up and the Kings offense ground to a halt.
After Tyrese Haliburton had a fast-break dunk to tie the game at 95 with 4:57 left in the game, the Jazz then went on to dominate the final minutes scoring 15 points compared to the Kings six.
The Kings' offense really bogged down during this stretch, as they just were struggling to get good looks.
After Richaun Holmes fouled out with 3:12, Luke Walton tried a hail mary move by playing four guards and Harrison Barnes at the center, but even still the offense couldn’t get it going.
The Kings got a defensive stop trailing 101-97 and seemingly had numbers on the fastbreak, but Buddy Hield made a bad pass and turned the ball over, essentially ending the team’s chances of winning.
The 3-point shooting disparity between the two teams was one of the biggest deciding factors in the game. The Jazz made 16 of their 42 attempts from three (38%), while the Kings made just 8 of 34 of their attempts from three (22%).
De’Aaron Fox just wasn’t very good on Friday, struggling to get anything going outside of the paint and struggling to finish as usual with Rudy Gobert occupying the paint.
Elsewhere in the Kings’ backcourt, Buddy Hield had his second consecutive solid game coming off the bench, finishing the night with 24 points on 9 of 20 shooting and 6 of 15 from beyond the arc.
After a career-low 2 points in the season opener, Tyrese Haliburton bounced back in a major way on Friday scoring 15 points on 7 of 12 shooting.
Davion Mitchell was tremendous on defense yet again, making several highlight plays, but really struggled offensively going just 1 of 8 from the floor.
Marvin Bagley III made his season debut on Friday playing just 10 minutes and scoring two points.
The Kings will look to bounce back on Sunday as they host Steph Curry and the undefeated Warriors on Sunday night at 6 p.m. PST.