Kings

Kings takeaways: What we learned from 115-111 loss to Suns

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Kings takeaways: What we learned from 115-111 loss to Suns

Needing a win to finish over .500 at the midway point of the season, the Sacramento Kings looked dominant early against the Phoenix Suns. And then they caught a case of the whoops. 

Sacramento blew a commanding 21-point third quarter lead and then squandered opportunities down the stretch to let one slip through their fingers. 

Phoenix got stops when they needed them and hit timely buckets down the stretch to come away with a 115-111 win over the Kings. 

Here are three takeaways as the Kings drop back below .500 at 20-21 on the season.

Butter Fingers 

Sloppy. The Kings looked like Keystone Cops for much of the night. It started in the first quarter when they gave it away five times. 

It looked like they solved the issue in the second quarter, where they turned it over just three times to take a commanding 72-53 lead into the half.

But the wheels fell off the bus in the third and it didn’t get much better in the fourth.  

Sacramento came into the night averaging just 13.1 turnovers per game. They fumbled it away a total of 26 times against the Suns, which cost them the game.

Trouble in the Third

The Kings had the game locked away early and then they fell apart in the third. Sacramento turned the ball over 10 times in the period and shot just 4-of-16 from the field as the Suns came charging back.

The starting backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield combined to shoot 1-of-7 in the period and turned the ball over a total of five times. 

Phoenix outscored the Kings 33-14 in the period to tie the game going to the fourth. 

Stay Ready

It’s not easy sitting on the sidelines and watching your teammates find success. Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, Dave Joerger went deep into his bench, turning to seldom used wing Ben McLemore to help supplement his rotation. 

McLemore made a nice impact on the game, scoring 20 points on 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc. The former lottery pick barely grazed iron on his shots, showing that he’s been working on his game behind the scenes. 

Why Kings' De'Aaron Fox prefers playing in Sacramento than bigger-markets

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Why Kings' De'Aaron Fox prefers playing in Sacramento than bigger-markets

When you think of De'Aaron Fox, you think of a superstar. But a bigger stage isn't something he desires.

Recently, Fox was hanging out in a rented, beachside condo in San Clemente, Calif. talking to One37pm's Corban Goble. The Kings guard was playing on a grand piano. And despite being in Southern California, playing some keys from John Legend's "All of Me," he likes where he's at, cozy in Sacramento.

“I don’t crave to be in a big market,” Fox said. “After last season, there was a buzz in Sacramento. Everyone in Sacramento is a Kings fan. If we start making the playoffs, or if we become a championship contender, the entire city is going to go nuts. That’s the difference between a big market and a small one.”

The Kings finished the 2019-20 season 39-43 due to an impressive sophomoric outing from Fox who averaged 17.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

If Fox continues on his superstar trajectory, he might have to put those low-key desires to the test. 

But Fox's go-with-the-flow mentality is one to be admired.

[RELATED: How Fox celebrated contract signing with agent]

He could have gone to Los Angeles or San Diego to be in the middle of it all, but San Clemente was the "laid-back" way Fox prefers.

It appears Fox not only loves the idea of playing for Sacramento but for the people of the city as well.

Kings players roast Bobby Jackson after awful first pitch attempt

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Kings players roast Bobby Jackson after awful first pitch attempt

Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game is an honor, but it's certainly not one of the easiest tasks.

Just trust us on this one. 

It adds excess pressure to the situation when you're an athlete. Perhaps you feel your inherent athletic ability will make it easy for you to throw in there for a strike ... right? Well, when it comes to Bobby Jackson, that's not the case.

The former Sacramento Kings player turned assistant player development coach threw out the first pitch for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats recently, and well ...

He bounced it and it went way outside (or inside to a lefty batter). He also lost his sunglasses. Clearly, there was a lot going on.

[RELATED: Fox, Barnes have 3-point contest after USA practice]

And despite the way the pitch went, the torment wasn't over. Harry Giles, Buddy Hield and Kyle Guy all made sure to chime in after witnessing the display, and they weren't too nice about it. 

It's not as easy as it looks, folks.