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Kings drop close one despite a career night from Tyrese Haliburton

Haliburton finished with a career-high 38 points.

Sacramento Kings v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Well, the Sacramento Kings lost yet another game on Saturday, but at least this one felt a lot better.

Sacramento was competitive throughout the game, leading comfortably for a large portion, but ultimately MVP candidate Joel Embiid was too much for the Kings to handle. Embiid finished with 36 points on 18 shots and was able to pretty much score at will against any big man the Kings put on him.

Harrison Barnes had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but couldn’t connect on a three, securing the Kings their season-high sixth loss in a row.

Never mind the actual outcome, the real story of the game for Sacramento was the play of Tyrese Haliburton.

Haliburton was absolutely masterful on Saturday, turning in the best performance of his young career and almost single-handedly willing Sacramento to a tough road victory. The second-year guard finished the night with a career-high 38 points on just 19 shots.

Haliburton was in his bag Saturday, dropping down floaters, scoop shots, free throws and step-back three-pointers.

Seeing Haliburton completely dominate the fourth quarter Saturday was a reminder of the potential he possesses when he looks for his shot. If the Kings are lucky, Saturday’s aggressive version of Haliburton will be the one they get for the remainder of the season.

The inverse of Haliburton on Saturday was Buddy Hield who was atrocious and actively harmful to the team in his 23 minutes. Hield scored just two points and missed all seven of his three-point attempts.

A Hield trade in the next few weeks feels inevitable, and he is certainly playing like he’s ready to get moved.

Despite dropping their sixth game in a row, Saturday felt a lot better than the Kings' recent blowout losses. Unfortunately, the standings still exist, and the Kings are plummeting in that regard, now at 18-33 and in 13th place in the West.

Sacramento will remain on the eastern seaboard for a few more days as they will face off with the New York Knicks on Monday at Madison Square Garden.