Kings takeaways: What we learned in gritty 113-109 win over T-Wolves

Kings takeaways: What we learned in gritty 113-109 win over T-Wolves


SACRAMENTO -- Last time these two teams faced off, the Kings rallied from a 22-point deficit with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter to steal a win in Minnesota. The T-Wolves almost flipped the scripts on the Kings Monday night at Golden 1 Center.

After leading by as many as 21 points in the third quarter, the Kings allowed Minnesota to make it a two-point game on multiple occasions in the fourth. 

But when the Kings needed a big shot, they got one. Harrison Barnes hit a pair of buckets inside of five minutes remaining and Bogdan Bogdanovic sealed the game at the free throw line as the home team figured out a way to send the Timberwolves (15-34) to their 12th straight defeat, this time by a final of 113-109.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings bounce back on their home court to move to 19-31 on the season.

Short memory

In his last game, De’Aaron Fox turned the ball over seven times against the Los Angeles Lakers in a blowout loss. That’s not the player who showed up Monday evening against the Timberwolves.

From the jump, Fox turned on the jets and went to work. He lived in the paint the entire night, scoring a game-high 31 points on 10-of-16 from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the arc.

In his last 16 games, Fox is averaging over 23 points and seven assists per game for Sacramento. In an otherwise disappointing start to the season, the 22-year-old is a bright light for the Kings. 

Buddy and Bogi

Coach Luke Walton shook everything up six games ago when he swapped out Buddy Hield for Bogdan Bogdanovic in the starting lineup. For whatever reason, the move has sparked both players.

Since moving to the bench, Hield has seen more than a six-minute reduction in court time and he’s averaging 3.4 points per game more. Most of the boost is coming from the 3-point line where Hield has found his stroke with the second unit.

Bogdanovic has seen a similar spike in production. While his points per game have slightly dipped, he’s finding a rhythm next to Fox and starting to flourish. 

Against the T-Wolves, the duo combined for 39 points on 11-of-19 from the field and 6-of-10 from long range. 

Dedmon comes alive

Dewayne Dedmon is having a season to forget. In what could be his last game in a Kings uniform with the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, the veteran center looked closer to the player Sacramento thought they were getting when they inked him to a three-year, $40 million deal during the off-season.

The 30-year-old center couldn’t get his 3-ball to fall, but he did all the dirty work for Sacramento. Dedmon finished the evening with four points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a season-high five blocks.

There is a possibility that Dedmon sticks around through the deadline, but he’s going to need more nights like this if he hopes to earn minutes when Richaun Holmes returns to the court later this week.

Kevin Durant, Harrison Barnes lose early in NBA 2K Players Tournament

Kevin Durant, Harrison Barnes lose early in NBA 2K Players Tournament

Kevin Durant and Harrison Barnes are skilled on the court, but they need some work with the sticks.

Both NBA stars were knocked out in the first round of the NBA 2K Players Tournament on Friday.

Durant, the No. 1 overall seed in the 16-player tournament, was knocked out by Miami Heat high-riser Derrick Jones Jr. in the first matchup of the night.

Playing as the Los Angeles Clippers, Durant lost 78-62 to Jones, who was controlling the Milwaukee Bucks.

Durant did have a couple of noteworthy moments, though.

As for Barnes, he served as the No. 15 seed and took on No. 2 seed Trae Young. This matchup was never really close.

Barnes played as the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors, while Young controlled the Bucks.

The Hawks star went on to win 101-59. After falling behind 10-0 early, Barnes cut the deficit to 13-11. But Young went on a 12-0 run, turning the game into a blowout.

During the game, both players were connected via headsets and exchanged banter while also asking each other questions.

While Young left Atlanta and went to his hometown of Norman, Okla., Barnes revealed that he decided to remain in Sacramento during the global coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm optimistic, man, that we're going to get in a few more games, so I'm staying close," Barnes said.

Young is close friends with Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox, and he asked Barnes what it's like playing with the former No. 5 overall pick.

"He's the best. Great dude, great point guard," Barnes said. "Unfortunately he got hurt early on, so it put us in a tough situation. If he had been healthy all year, I think we would have had a better year than we had."

[RELATED: Former Kings arena converted to hospital]

With the NBA on hiatus due to the pandemic, Durant and Barnes will have plenty of time at home to work on their 2K skills.

Former Kings arena to be converted into coronavirus surge hospital


Former Kings arena to be converted into coronavirus surge hospital

It’s official. The building formerly known as Arco Arena, Sleep Train Arena and Power Balance Pavilion is going to become a surge hospital during the current outbreak of the coronavirus.

“California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services announced plans for the California Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to convert the Natomas arena and practice facility into a surge field hospital to provide critical medical services for coronavirus and trauma care patients,” the team’s press release said on Friday.

Army Corps of Engineer Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite mentioned the possibility of converting Sleep Train into a 360-bed hospital earlier in the week. It now appears that the plan will go into full effect. 

"These days, our state’s soaring spirit is on full display – with Californians from every walk of life standing together, even while staying at home,” Governor Newsom said. “The State of California is working with the Kings to repurpose the team's former home to help treat COVID-19 patients and meet the coming surge in demand for hospital space. This facility, which for decades brought joy to the lives of Californians, will now be in the business of saving lives. I applaud the Kings and all the federal, state and local officials who worked in concert to make it happen.”

In addition to working with the state and federal government on the use of the Natomas property, the Kings also pledged $250,000 to support local community organizations taxed by the current pandemic, as well as 100,000 medical masks to state and city health agencies.

“On behalf of the entire Kings family, our hearts are with all who have been affected by this pandemic,” Sacramento Kings Chairman, CEO and Owner Vivek Ranadivé said via the press release. “California always leads the nation and the world, and we applaud Governor Newsom’s strong and decisive leadership to keep Californians healthy and safe during this crisis. His deft guidance and preparation serve as a shining example for leaders across America. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the medical professionals and frontline workers risking their lives every day and making tremendous sacrifices to protect us and provide essential services. Our deepest thanks go out to all of the local public health experts and elected officials, including Mayor Steinberg and Councilmember Ashby, working to safeguard the community during this unprecedented time.
“Our community has always come first, and that is more important now than ever,” Ranadivé added. “The Kings are proud to help by providing additional space to accommodate a predicted surge in patients. We are also donating masks to help keep people healthy, and critical resources to area organizations that are addressing food insecurity and other issues as a result of the coronavirus. I have always been in awe of the resilience and ingenuity of the American people and firmly believe that together, we will defeat this invisible enemy.”

[RELATED: How to watch Barnes in NBA 2K tourney]

The Arco property has gone mostly unused since the team moved to Golden 1 Center before the 2015-16 season. The practice facility currently is used by the team's G League affiliate, the Stockton Kings, but like the NBA, the G League is on hiatus due to COVID-19. 

All of this is part of the Kings’ “In this together” initiative.

Listen and subscribe to the Purple Talk Podcast: