Kings takeaways: What we learned from 133-129 loss vs. Pelicans


Kings takeaways: What we learned from 133-129 loss vs. Pelicans

SACRAMENTO -- 81 down, one to go. The Sacramento Kings finished their 2018-19 home schedule Sunday evening at Golden 1 Center with a very disappointing 133-129 loss to a shorthanded New Orleans Pelicans squad.

The Kings received huge performances across the board, but they couldn't stop the Pelicans from posting another huge offensive showing.

Ian Clark hit Sacramento for 31 points. Elfrid Payton added 26 points and 14 assists, while Jahlil Okafor added 23 points and 14 rebounds in the win.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings dreams of finishing .500 on the season fell by the wayside.

Record tied, but...

Buddy Hield, welcome to the NBA record books.

The Kings’ leading scorer hit two 3-pointers on the night to give him 599 makes over the first three years in the league to tie Damian Lillard’s NBA record.

The sharpshooting wing struggled to find his shot throughout the evening. He finished the game with 12 points on 2-of-10 shooting from long range.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

In his second NBA season, De’Aaron Fox has become the driving force behind the Kings’ high-powered offense. The 6-foot-3 speedster didn’t disappoint in the home finale.

Fox was a disruptive force on both ends of the court for the Kings. He got in the passing lanes to come away with three steals and plenty of deflections.

On the offensive end, Fox ran the show, finishing with 24 points on 10-for-18 shooting to go with six rebounds and 11 assists.

Bjelica, Barnes and Bagley

The killer Bees came to play.

Bjelica started it early, bombing away from the outside and out hustling the Pelicans down the court. He scored 12 of his 15 points in the first quarter.

With Bjelica hitting from the outside, Barnes attacked the rim. He has a nice back to the basket game and he’s quick and strong enough to take plenty of opposing wings off the dribble. Barnes scored 29 points on the night and four rebounds.

Lastly, Marvin Bagley came in off the bench with what appeared to be a single objective - crash the glass. The 20-year-old rookie went to work, scoring 19 points to go with a team-high 14 rebounds.

Buddy Hield shoulders blame for late mistake in Kings' loss vs. Spurs

Buddy Hield shoulders blame for late mistake in Kings' loss vs. Spurs

All the Kings needed to do was play 14 seconds of good defense and they would walk out of AT&T Center in San Antonio with an impressive win.

But Buddy Hield didn't fight through a LaMarcus Aldridge screen and a wide-open Marco Belinelli drained a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left in regulation.

The game would go to overtime, and the Kings would eventually lose, 105-104, to the Spurs.

After the game, a somber Hield pointed the finger at himself for the end-of-regulation breakdown.

"I should have been more locked in and have more attention to detail in regulation and shouldn't put us in that situation," Hield told reporters in San Antonio. "I see what coach is talking about, but it's my fault."

While Hield blew the assignment on Belinelli's game-tying shot, the Kings will want to forget the final two minutes of regulation.

Up 98-89, the Kings were outscored 11-2 over the final 1:50 of the fourth quarter. They turned the ball over three times during that span, allowing the Spurs to chip away at the deficit.

Still, Hield was upset with himself.

"I didn't lock in and pay extra attention to Belinelli, so it's on me," Hield said.

Coach Luke Walton wasn't happy either, but for a different reason.

"The turnovers at the end of regulation, that's something we can't do as a group," Walton told reporters in San Antonio.

Despite how regulation ended, the Kings still had a chance to win the game at the end of overtime. Hield and Trevor Ariza had open shots, but couldn't connect.

"At the end of the day, we had three open looks to win and we missed all three of them," Walton said. "So, it's frustrating, it hurts to lose. It's what the journey's about and it's about learning from these and getting better as a group and going out and being able to do a better job at executing down the stretch next time we're in that situation."

With the loss, the Kings sit at 8-13 on the season and the schedule doesn't get any easier. On Sunday, they take on MVP candidate Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. The next day, they will be in Houston to take on James Harden and the Rockets. That's a brutal back-to-back.

[RELATED: Bagley cleared for contact]

As they wait for De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley to get healthy, the Kings need to learn from their mistakes and put together a complete game. If they don't, they will come home on Tuesday seven games under .500, a spot they don't want to be in.

Kings takeaways: What we learned in crushing 105-104 OT loss to Spurs


Kings takeaways: What we learned in crushing 105-104 OT loss to Spurs


The Kings began the Texas Three-Step with a crushing overtime loss in San Antonio on Friday night.

Sacramento (8-13) built a 98-89 lead with 1:50 remaining in regulation, but the Spurs (9-14) rallied to force the extra period and pulled out a stunning 105-104 win at AT&T Center.

The Kings' modest three-game winning streak against the Spurs came to an end with the loss.

Sacramento's road trip continues with games in Dallas on Sunday and Houston on Monday.

Here are the three takeaways from the Kings' loss in San Antonio:

Unable to close

After blowing a seven-point lead late in the fourth quarter, the Kings went on a 9-0 run to take a 98-89. But San Antonio closed the fourth quarter on an 11-2 run to force overtime.

In overtime, the Kings had a chance to win in the final seconds but Buddy Hield and Trevor Ariza each missed two shots on the final possession.

No stopping Holmes

Richaun Holmes arguably has been the Kings' best player the last few games and he continued his strong play against the Spurs.

The first-year Kings center finished with 13 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in 45 minutes.

Over his last three games, Holmes is averaging 20.3 points and 11 rebounds. He's looking like the steal of the offseason for the Kings.

The emergence of Holmes is a welcome sight considering how ineffective Dewayne Dedman has been. On Friday, the high-priced center played just eight minutes and did not score.

Bogi returns

Bogdan Bogdanovic missed Wednesday's game in Portland due to a knee contusion, but he returned in San Antonio.

The reserve guard finished with nine points on 4-of-12 shooting points in 21 minutes.

Without De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley, the Kings desperately need Bogdanovic's scoring off the bench. He didn't provide much Friday, but just having him back in the rotation is a good sign for Sacramento.