Kings

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 114-103 comeback win vs. Suns

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 114-103 comeback win vs. Suns

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PHOENIX -- Short-handed and playing on the second night of a back-to-back, all seemed lost for the Kings (15-23) as they stared down a big third-quarter deficit. 

With the starters struggling against the athletic Phoenix Suns (14-23), coach Luke Walton went to his vets and they turned the game around. 

De’Aaron Fox played with the foursome of Cory Joseph, Dewayne Dedmon, Nemanja Bjelica and Trevor Ariza for second half of the third quarter and the entire fourth. The group went to work, leading the Kings to a 114-103 win and back from a 21-point hole.

Devin Booker posted his seventh straight 30-point game for Phoenix and Deandre Ayton added 21 points and nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to stop Sacramento.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings pick up their second straight win.

A wild third quarter

Early in the season, the Kings had a strange trend of falling apart in the third quarter. That issue reemerged Tuesday in Phoenix. 

After going to halftime tied at 53, the Kings missed their first 10 shots to open the third quarter and the Suns ran them off the floor. The Kings took long jumpers and contested off-balance shots while the Suns built a 21 point lead. 

Walton pulled a line change midway through the quarter, turning to his veterans in an attempt to stem the tide. They responded with a tremendous effort, trimming the Suns' lead to 87-78 heading into the fourth. 

With the momentum on their side, the Kings continued the improbable comeback in the fourth. Fox put on a show, scoring 11 of his team-high 27 in the final frame as the Kings pulled away. 

Dedmon walking ... and playing

Out of pure necessity, the Kings turned back to center Dewayne Dedmon against the Suns, and the veteran played well after an extended break.

Coming off three straight games on the inactive list (and three more DNP-CDs), Dedmon played nearly 32 minutes off the Kings' bench Tuesday. He rebounded the ball, played defense and even knocked down a 3-pointer. 

The Kings’ $40 million man finished the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He helped stabilize the game and played most of the second half as the Kings fought back. 

[RELATED: Sources say Kings unlikely to make Bogdanovic for Kuzma trade]

Harry Giles, NBA starter

Giles, 21, missed all of training camp, the preseason, the first eight games of the season and then a 15-game stretch as a healthy scratch in a tumultuous start to his second NBA season. But on the second night of a back-to-back Tuesday, Walton tossed him in the starting lineup against the Suns.

Giles played under control in the first quarter, scoring six points on 3-of-3 shooting, while grabbing four rebounds. It was clear that he was trying to avoid picking up early fouls, which allowed Ayton to get off to a quick start. 

With Dedmon playing well, Giles sat for much of the second half, but he still managed to finish the night with eight points on 4-for-7 shooting. He also grabbed eight rebounds in 16 minutes of action.

Five things to watch when Kings got first win of season on buzzer beater

Five things to watch when Kings got first win of season on buzzer beater

Programming note: Watch the re-air of the Kings’ victory over the Utah Jazz from Nov. 1, 2019 tonight at 3 PT on NBC Sports California.

NBC Sports California is bringing fans some of the best games from the last few seasons in their re-airing of instant classics. With the NBA season on hold, it's the closest thing fans can get to watching live action. 

In our 10th installment, we go back to the Kings' first win of the 2019-20 season when they snapped a five-game losing streak to open the season with an upset victory over the Utah Jazz.

While we know the final outcome, sometimes the nuances of the win are lost with time. Here are five things to watch from the Kings’ 102-101 win over the Jazz at Golden 1 Center.

The winner

With 6.5 seconds remaining, Nemanja Bjelica fielded a pass from a cutting De’Aaron Fox and lined up a clean look from the corner. The ball caught iron, but Harrison Barnes crashed the glass, read the spin and was there for the putback with two seconds remaining on the clock to give Sacramento the one-point advantage.

The Kings held on the defensive end to come away with an improbable victory over a very good Jazz team. Barnes finished with a modest 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, but his shot got the Kings in the win column for the first time during the 2019-20 season.

“I’ve had a few game-winners throughout my career, whether it’s been high school, college, pro,” Barnes told NBC Sports California. “I don’t know the exact numbers, but hopefully either the rest of this season or next season, I can build on that.”


Fox shines

This is Fox’s team and he started to show it early in the season. Against fellow 2017 draftee Donovan Mitchell, Fox came out in attack mode, scoring 11 points in the first quarter.

Fox continued to dominate the action throughout the game, finishing with a game-high 25 points.  

Fox shot 8-of-17 from the field and went to the free throw line for 12 of the Kings’ 17 attempts on the night.

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Buddy struggles from deep

Buddy Hield has become one of the most reliable 3-point shooters in the NBA throughout his three-plus seasons. Against the Jazz, he went cold from the perimeter, but made adjustments to his game.

Hield missed all five of his 3-point attempts, but he still managed to score 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting. This was the only time through the Kings’ first 64 games that Hield failed to register a made triple.

Holmes gets comfortable

In just his second start of the season, Richaun Holmes began to settle in with the first team. He and Bjelica instantly found chemistry which led to multiple highlight reel alley-oops. 

The Kings invested heavily in Dewayne Dedmon during the summer. Holmes not only stole his job, but made Dedmon completely expendable.

This wasn’t one of his best performances, but Holmes held his own against Rudy Gobert and he came up huge on the defensive end on the final sequence.

Controversy

Following the shot by Barnes, the Jazz had one more opportunity to win the game. With two seconds remaining, Mike Conley tossed the inbounds pass to Mitchell who played off a Gobert screen.

Holmes took Mitchell on the switch and gave the guard a small bump. Mitchell continued his dribble, hit Homes with a pump fake and hoisted a 23-footer that came up short.

Following the game, Mitchell claimed that he was fouled on the final possession and should have gone to the line with a chance to win the game. 

The following day, the NBA sided with the Kings on the Two Minute report, stating, “Holmes (SAC) makes marginal contact with Mitchell (UTA) that does not affect his SQBR (Speed, Quickness, Balance, Rhythm).”

Kings guard Kyle Guy reveals his grandfather died from coronavirus

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USATSI

Kings guard Kyle Guy reveals his grandfather died from coronavirus

The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forever changed Kyle Guy's family.

The Kings' second-round draft pick revealed Saturday that his grandfather died Friday night after contracting the virus.

"When I was 7 or 8 my grandpa had me sign a piece of paper saying he’d be my manager (jokingly) if I ever made it to the NBA 😂 something as small as that was always on my mind while I tried to make that dream come true. I know he’s up there waiting for his cut lmao.. and one day, I’ll give it to him ❤️," Guy wrote on Instagram.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 277,205 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and 6,593 deaths in the country.

[RELATED: Kings' former arena to be converted to hospital]

Guy, who grew up in Indianapolis and went to school at the University of Virginia, signed a two-way contract with the Kings in July.