Through two games, the Kings looked nothing like the team that had rattled off a 13-7 record in the 20 games leading up to the NBA’s shutdown. Sacramento settled in and at least made a game of it Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Kings led for much of the contest, but they couldn’t execute down the stretch and Luka Doncic made them pay. In a game that needed an overtime session, the Kings couldn’t get it done, losing 114-110 to Doncic and the Mavericks.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings lost their third straight game in the Orlando bubble and fell to 28-39 on the season.
What could've been
Doncic is a superstar, and the Kings passed on him in the 2018 NBA Draft. He gave the Kings a taste of what they missed out on Tuesday.
The Mavericks guard posted a 34-point, 20-rebound, 12-assist triple-double. He was the driving force behind Dallas’ victory, and his 20 rebounds were a career-high.
A small-market team like the Kings can’t afford to make a mistake like passing on Doncic. They’ll pay for this one for a decade or more.
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De’Aaron Fox rolled his left ankle ahead of the restarted season, and there were concerns about how effective he would be for Sacramento in the restart. Those questions have been answered.
Not only is Fox playing major minutes for the Kings, but he’s also starring. After dropping a career-high 39 points in the opening game loss to the San Antionio Spurs and 13 points in just 25 minutes against the Orlando Magic on Sunday, the Kings’ starting point came out hot and didn’t let up against the Mavericks.
Fox knocked down 12 of 27 shots from the field, including two makes from long range, on his way to 28 points. He added nine assists and two steals in the loss.
“No blinkers, just navigating traffic.” 🚦 pic.twitter.com/US6wrzQaua— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) August 4, 2020
Back it up
Kent Bazemore had some harsh words for his teammates when he spoke to the media on Monday afternoon. The veteran wing said the Kings were “underachieving as a team” and demanded his group play better.
Bazemore was a pest on defense, like usual, but he also brought his offensive game Tuesday. He finished with 16 points and helped anchor the second unit.
Flex on ‘em Baze 💪 pic.twitter.com/pSkFmMFRjX— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) August 4, 2020
The Kings’ bench outscored the Mavericks second team 56-19. Bazemore played a big part in that domination.