Kings

Kings takeaways: What you might have missed in 129-120 loss to Spurs

Kings takeaways: What you might have missed in 129-120 loss to Spurs

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No one is going to hand the Sacramento Kings a playoff spot. That’s not how the NBA works.

Sacramento learned that lesson the hard way Friday night when the San Antonio Spurs throttled them early and built a big first-half lead. The Kings countered, like they have done all season long, but it wasn’t enough.

Led by former King Rudy Gay, All-Star DeMar DeRozan and the hot shooting of Derrick White, the Spurs stunned Sacramento by the final of 129-120.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings drop their first game of the restart and fall a game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for ninth place in the Western Conference standings.

Crushing Blow

Every game is a must-win for the Kings when you consider the eight-game restart. A loss to the Spurs in the opener is the worst case scenario for the team’s playoff hopes.

With Portland winning, the Kings have now fallen a game behind in the standings with just seven games remaining in the season. It’s not over, but Sacramento’s schedule gets so much more difficult from here on out. 

No excuses, the Kings might have just had their playoff dreams crushed before they even had a chance to make things interesting. 

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Game Legs

De’Aaron Fox spoke to the media following shootaround on Friday morning and declared that he had his “Game legs.” The Kings’ star in the making came out in the first quarter and allowed his play to explain exactly what he meant.

Fox ran right by the Spurs defense and found himself at the cup time and time again in the first half. Most of his shots found pay dirt.

Sacramento’s starting point guard scored 20 of his career-high 39 points in a wild first half that saw the Kings give up a 19-0 run before taking a one-point lead into the intermission.

From start to finish, Fox was the best player on the court, finishing the game shooting 17-for-33 from the field to go with six assists and three rebounds. 

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Bogi Bombs

Bogdan Bogdanovic didn’t get off to a great start for the Kings, but that’s the beauty of the NBA. 

Sacramento’s starting shooting guard shook off the cold first half to provide a huge boost for the Kings. His back-to-back triples in the third quarter fired up the squad and got them back in contention.

On the evening, Bogdanovic finished with 24 points on 8-for-15 shooting, including six makes from long range in 31 minutes of action.

Kings takeaways: What you might have missed in 112-106 win vs. Pelicans

Kings takeaways: What you might have missed in 112-106 win vs. Pelicans

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A win is a win.

After an early collapse in the bubble cost them any chance at an NBA playoff spot, the Sacramento Kings picked up their second win of the Orlando bubble Tuesday evening in a meaningless game.

Sacramento outlasted a short-handed New Orleans Pelicans team and a big performance from Jahlil Okafor to come away with a 112-106 victory.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings found a way to pick up a win and improved to 2-5 in the Orlando bubble.

Barnes looks better

The Kings waiting anxiously for Harrison Barnes to clear coronavirus protocol and join them in the Orlando bubble. He reported for duty right before Sacramento’s last scrimmage game, but he really hasn’t looked like himself throughout the tournament.

That changed on Tuesday night when Barnes went for a team-high 25 points on 9-for-19 shooting. He added eight rebounds and two assists in the win.

Barnes isn’t a star, but he’s an incredibly valuable piece to the Kings’ rotation. It’s good to see him getting his timing back, unfortunately it came way too late.

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Audition

Harry Giles’ time with the Sacramento Kings might be coming to an end and if it is, he’s going to go out with a bang.

The second-year big man is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and he’s auditioning for all 30 NBA teams. With the Kings short-handed, Giles got an extended look and had a nice little ball game for coach Luke Walton’s squad.

In 24 minutes of action, Giles finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

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Leaving it all out on the court

Bogdan Bogdanovic had a disaster of a game in the Kings’ overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks. If you take that game away, he’s had a great offensive showing in the bubble. 

The third-year Kings guard, who enters this summer as a restricted free agent for Sacramento, came into the contest averaging 19 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting from 3-point range, and those numbers include his 1-for-15 showing against the Mavs.

Bogi had another solid game for the Kings against New Orleans, scoring 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting to go with six rebounds, seven assists and two steals. The Kings are going to have to pay up, but there is a very good chance they lock up the Serbian shooting guard long term this offseason.

Kings vs. Pelicans live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

Kings vs. Pelicans live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

The Kings (29-41) will try to close out their time in the NBA's Orlando bubble on a high note, starting with Sacramento's penultimate game of the restarted season against the New Orleans Pelicans (30-40).

Both the Kings and Pelicans entered the Walt Disney World Resort with high hopes of ending playoff droughts, but neither young team has lived up to expectations so far. Sacramento's only win of the restarted season so far came against New Orleans on Aug. 6, and both teams will leave the NBA's campus after wrapping up the regular season on Thursday. 

Neither Zion Williamson nor Brandon Ingram nor Jrue Holiday will suit up for the Pelicans, and neither will De'Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes and Kent Bazemore for the Kings. It's time for the Kings to go young, and players at the end of both benches will be battling to impress and get a leg up on their competitors for playing time next season.

[RELATED: Walton hopeful Kings learn vital lessons from elimination]

Here's how to watch Tuesday's Kings-Pelicans game live online and on TV.

When: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California
Live stream: MyTeams