“Offense wins frames, defense wins games.”
The Kings were led by De’Aaron Fox’s 33 points on 12-18 shooting and Tyrese Haliburton’s third double-double of the season (18 points and 11 assists).
Sacramento welcomed Harrison Barnes back into the rotation after missing two weeks due to a foot injury, while Moe Harkless was available but did not play. Terence Davis replaced Harkless in the starting five after a sharpshooting 28 point affair on Saturday night vs. the Los Angeles Clippers. Davis poured in 16 points in tonight’s contest.
In a game of parody, offense was superb while defense fell absolutely flat in the first two frames. Orlando had their best opening half of play offensively all season, scoring 67 points to Sacramento’s 70. Adjustments were crucial in the second half of play, as the Kings were able to lockdown their defense and put away the Magic in the third with 8 steals, 7 blocks and an explosion of stops from the likes of Haliburton, Alex Len and Tristan Thompson.
The bench was huge in tonight’s win, with a major contribution on both ends of the floor from Marvin Bagley III. The fourth year man poured in 12 points and 5 rebounds, including one put-back dunk worthy of the highlight reel. Meanwhile. Davion Mitchell had 16 points on 6-9 shooting in an efficient and effective performance.
An unusual and unfortunate sequence delayed play midway through the second frame when Mo Bamba received a common foul with an additional tech for an (unintentional) claw at Richaun Holmes. Leaving him bloodied after just getting over an eye injury last week, Holmes was taken to the locker room for further evaluation. Unable to take his free throws due to a mandatory concussion protocol, Gentry was able to choose from one of four players on the court to take two shots from the stripe in his absence. Holmes did not return with a right eye injury.
This was everything we could hope to see in a game offensively where Sacramento was the expected victor based on record, talent and tenure. Where the Kings tend to play down to their opponent, this roster was able to rise to the occasion and meet the expectations that were realistically placed upon them in the second half of play.
Getting a win under their belt in confident fashion before they hit the road should give this team meaningful grounds to build on as they begin their East Coast swing.