Well, the sequence had to be interrupted at some point. After the beam had been on for seven straight games, it definitely needed a break from going out. And after a long night in which they dragged through the game, the Sacramento Kings gave one, as they fell to the Atlanta Hawks, 115-106.
Before we dive into all the negatives of tonight, there were a few positives to highlight.
The first bounces. Led by Domantas Sabonis, who finished with 14, the Kings – who were ranked 26th in rebounding heading into tonight – actually won the boards. Although they only managed to catch one more than their opponent, it’s really nice to see progress in this aspect of the game.
The second positive was Malik Monk. Monk played phenomenally and recorded a season-high 27 points, second among all scorers. He also brought this team to life at times when they seemed desperate. Having a player with his type of attacking abilities on the bench is invaluable and will lead to many more wins in the future.
Now… the bad stuff.
Keegan Murray has been in a shooting slump for about two weeks now. In particular, he struggles to shoot deep. In his last five games, he managed just one three in 15 attempts. But it’s not just his shot that’s missed. Murray just doesn’t walk around with the kind of swagger he wore at the start of the season. He finished tonight’s game with just 4 points, going 0-5 from the field. Surely his shooting could have helped the Kings make him at least more competitive tonight.
But even though Murray was out of his slump, the King’s defense was absolutely atrocious, consistently giving up hoops at all three levels. Trae Young looked like he was in for a shootout tonight, racking up 35 points while shooting 58% from the field. There were several possessions where the Kings literally didn’t guard Young and even when they did, it made no difference.
The Kings have looked fantastic during this recent streak and have done more than just inspire hope in their city. They showed they could play with the best in the NBA. However, if they don’t want to find themselves in a situation where they have to go on another seven-game winning streak in the spring just to make the qualifying tournament, they need to get a lot better on defense…quickly.
. Score final Kings Hawks Atlanta puts end streak wins Sacramento