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What we learned as Kings lose finale to cap off 31-41 season

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Buddy Hield shooting against the Jazz

SACRAMENTO -- The rollercoaster ride is over. 

One of the more manic seasons in Kings history came to a conclusion Sunday night at Golden 1 Center when the Utah Jazz rolled into town and dropped the home team by a final of 121-99.

Playing without De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes, Marvin Bagley, Justin James and Hassan Whiteside, the Kings gave the team with the NBA’s best record a fight for about 20 minutes. And then reality set in.

Led by the hot shooting of Jordan Clarkson and an all-around strong effort from the Jazz players, Utah ran away with the blowout victory to improve to 52-20 on the season.

Terence Davis led the way for Sacramento with 20 points. Damian Jones added 19 and Jahmi’us Ramsey set a new career-high with 12 points in the loss.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings dropped a third straight game to finish the season at 31-41 on the season.

Coming up short

Buddy Hield hasn’t had the season that he or anyone in Sacramento envisioned when he signed a four-year, $86 million contract. While the fifth-year guard has struggled overall, he’s still found a way to launch and hit 3-pointers at a stunning clip.

Coming into Sunday, Hield needed five made 3-pointers to match Peja Stojakovic’s franchise record of 1070 career triples and six to take the lead. He didn’t get there.

Hield finished the night 1-for-7 from behind the arc. He still managed to post a solid all-around game, finishing with 13 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, but the scoring and 3-point shot never came.

 

Staking his claim

When the Kings landed Davis at the deadline in a budget move to bolster the bench, they might not have fully grasped what they had. The second-year guard was struggling after a rocky offseason and looked like he needed a change of scenery.

It took Davis a little while to get comfortable in a Kings uniform, but he’s flourished down the stretch. 

On his 24th birthday, Davis posted a team-high 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting. He has now scored in double-figures in eight of the Kings’ previous 10 games. A restricted free agent at the end of the season, Davis looks like a big-time bench scorer for the Kings moving forward. 

One last look

Without most of his regulars, coach Luke Walton went deep to his bench. Louis King picked up his first start alongside Damian Jones and Chimezie Metu. Kyle Guy, Jahmi’us Ramsey and Robert Woodard all played solid minutes.

For some of these players, this might be a last look in the NBA. For others, it’s just the start. Jones led this group with 19 points and six rebounds. Ramsey was right behind him with 12 points. Guy hit a pair of 3-pointers and Metu finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

Woodard, who has played sparingly all season, dropped in two points and three rebounds in 11 minutes. King struggled with foul trouble, but still managed to score 12 points. 

While it was a lopsided loss, this group played hard and played together against a very good Jazz squad.