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What we learned in Kings' disappointing loss to 76ers

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Fox driving against Embiid, Simmons
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SACRAMENTO -- The Kings came into Tuesday night rolling, but they ran into a big, physical Philadelphia 76ers squad that finally looks to be living up to their potential. 

De’Aaron Fox and the Kings guard feasted on the Sixers defense early, but when the game was on the line in the fourth, Philly’s physicality won out. It went down to the wire, but 76ers managed to come away with the 119-111 win to snap the Kings’ four game win streak.

Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid and Seth Curry each scored 20 or more for Philadelphia and Matisse Thybulle did a nice job on the defensive end late against Fox. 

Here are three takeaways as the Kings drop a tough one and fall back to the .500 mark on the season at to 12-12. 

Tempo setter

Fox came in ready to put on a show. The Kings’ starting point guard took turns running circles around All-NBA first team defender Ben Simmons and veteran Danny Green. 

When he wasn’t sprinting past his defender, he was either burying 3-pointers or tossing lops to his teammates.

The reigning Western Conference Player of the Week is looking more and more like a superstar every time he steps on the court. He finished the night with 34 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. He now has back-to-back 30 point performances for the second time this season. 

Take the torch

When Fox sat to open the second quarter, the Kings looked like they were in trouble. And then rookie Tyrese Haliburton turned up the heat.

 

Like Fox, Haliburton had no problem getting right to the rack against the Sixers defense. When Fox reentered, Haliburton started launching from long range. 

The 20-year-old guard scored all 15 of his points in the second. He shot an impressive 6-for-9 from the field and 3-or-4 from 3-point range in the loss.

In the Bag

With Richaun Holmes picking up his fourth foul in the early third quarter, coach Luke Walton had to get creative against one of the game’s best centers in Joel Embiid. For one of the rare times in the last few games, Walton moved starting power forward Marvin Bagley to the five and the 21-year-old answered the call.

RELATED: Fox named Western Conference Player of the Week

Bagley’s newfound ability to stretch the floor helped keep the Kings’ offense flowing. His ability to somehow stay with Embiid changed the game. Bagley battled down low and even took a pair of charges against the All-Star big. 

On the offensive end, Bagley was active, finishing with 17 points and six rebounds in 29 minutes. This is a game the third-year big can build on.