Winning is tough. Winning without your best player is just too much to ask for the Kings.
With leading scorer De’Aaron Fox sidelined due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Kings needed all hands on deck. They hung tough with the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center Sunday night, taking it all the way down to the wire.
Buddy Hield fumbled a ball out of bounds in the closing seconds when he had a wide open bucket and Harrison Barnes had a 3-pointer rim out that could have tied the game late.
Like so many nights this season, the Kings didn’t have enough to come up with a victory, falling by a final of 117-113.
Stephen Curry, the league’s leading scorer, lit the Kings up for 37 points on 7-for-14 from 3-point range. Kelly Oubre added 19 points off the Warriors bench and Draymond Green dropped in an eight-point, 14-rebound, 13-assist performance.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings took another loss to drop to 24-36 on the season.
I got this
No Fox? Let’s see what the rookie can do.
Tyrese Haliburton has proven time and time again that he is ready for prime time. Against the Warriors, he took over for Fox as the team’s closer and almost pulled out the W.
In a wild fourth quarter, Haliburton dropped in 15 of his 24 points to keep the Kings in the ball game. He attacked the rim, hit some impossible floaters and knocked down some deep 3-pointers.
In addition to the scoring, Haliburton posted eight assists and just a single turnover in 38 minutes of action.
Selected by the Warriors with the No 7 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Harrison Barnes spent the first four seasons of his career in Golden State. He gave them a taste of what they are missing Sunday night at the Chase Center.
Barnes caught fire early from the perimeter, knocking down four straight 3-pointers in the first quarter on his way to 14 points in the period.
Everyone has to step up their game. Against the Warriors, it was Barnes, who finished with 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting, including five makes from long range. He chipped in seven rebounds, two assists and a block in the loss.
You never know which Buddy Hield you are going to get when the ball goes up. With Fox out and the pace of the game looking like a track meet, Hield went toe-to-toe with Curry in a 3-point shootout.
Hield scored 25 points on 6-for-8 shooting from behind the arc. He ran the floor, worked to get open looks and let it fly in one of his better games this season.
This season has not gone as planned for Hield, but with Fox on the shelf, he’ll have an opportunity to put a lot of points over the next two weeks.