The 76ers were at near-full strength on Tuesday — something that has been a bit of a rarity for them this season — and they looked as daunting as they do on paper to start the first quarter, where they outscored the Kings 42-32. However, the Kings responded with a run of their own in the second quarter.
At the center of that run was Buddy Hield, who is finally starting to see his shots fall again. Hield scored 22 points on 7-18 shooting from the field against the LA Clippers on Sunday. He scored 21 points on 7-20 shooting from the field on Tuesday. He definitely still has room for improvement, but he’s on the right track.
The Kings scored 39 points in the second quarter while holding the 76ers to 24 points. They ended the half with 71 points and a five-point lead. That effort is what Kings fans have come to expect from this team.
The Kings showed just as much fight in the second half, but unfortunately their shots just weren’t falling at the same rate as they were in the first half. Had the Kings hovered around their season averages in the second quarter, they likely would have came away with the win.
If there was one winner on the Kings on Monday, it was De’Aaron Fox, who turned in another All-Star-worthy performance against a tough opponent. Fox led all scorers with 34 points and he competed hard on the defensive end. Right now, it’s harder to make an argument against Fox making the All-Star team.
The Kings will have an opportunity to bounce back against the Orlando Magic — a team they’ve already beaten once this season — on Friday. If the Kings play with the same energy that they played with against the 76ers on Tuesday, they should be able to win that one pretty handily.