Sacramento Kings Cardiac Kings have done it again. After falling behind 19 early, the Kings came back to top the Pels 122-117 in a thriller.
Is this just the Sacramento Kings new way of winning games? For the second straight time, the Kings fell behind 19 points in the first half, only to come roaring back in the fourth to steal a win.
Similar to Friday night’s miraculous comeback against the Memphis Grizzlies, tonight’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans started awful for Sacramento. Once again the offense was nonexistent and the defense, well, we already know about the Kings defense. Midway through the first, the Kings were shooting just 4-14 from the field and were down 10.
Things wouldn’t get better until the end of the first, however, as the Pelicans built up a 32-13 lead before the quarter would close and led 36-25 heading into the second. The Sacramento Kings offense would somewhat return in the second, but would go absent for long stretches, allowing the Pelicans to keep their lead at double-digits for most of the quarter.
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Sacramento would cut the deficit to just four with three minutes to go in the third, but allowed New Orleans to jump back ahead 10 heading into the fourth, 96-86.
In the fourth though, everything clicked for Sacramento on both sides of the ball. Sacramento took their first lead since the first quarter with 3:46 remaining in the game after opening up the fourth on a 22-9 run. The Pelicans would regain the lead briefly, but the Kings couldn’t be stopped as they took control down the stretch and ended this one at the free throw line.
Player of the Game
This one could go to a few players as Buddy Hield (28 points) led the Kings in the second half, De’Aaron Fox put up a double-double with 19 points and 11 assists and Bogdan Bogdanovic put up 24 points, four rebounds and seven assists off the bench, but it was Willie Cauley-Stein who blew up in this one the most.
After a string of games in which Cauley-Stein allowed the opposing team’s center to completely outplay him, Willie bounced back in a big way tonight.
In 35 minutes of action, WCS put up 22 points, a career-high 17 rebounds, two assists, three steals and a block (!) on 10-19 shooting. Cauley-Stein led the team in field goal attempts, rebounds, steals and was second on the team with a plus/minus of +14.
Play of the Game
This one is actually a two-part award tonight. First, De’Aaron Fox made one of the best highlight blocks of the year with this chase down swat of Tim Frazier in the first half.
It doesn’t get better than that on the court, but off it is a different story. During a first quarter timeout, the Sacramento Kings had Austin Kropp, who is returning from an overseas deployment with the U.S. Navy, surprise his mother and sister for a Christmas surprise everyone can get behind.
Stat of the Game
13 – Similar to a game recap from a few nights ago, this isn’t a stat from the game directly, but one that needs to be highlighted regardless.
13 is the number of games this season in which Willie Cauley-Stein has grabbed 10 or more rebounds. The Sacramento Kings record in those games? 10-3. According to my sources, that’s, uh, pretty good.
Lines of the Night
Bogdan Bogdanovic had himself a game tonight, as he went for 24 points, four rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes off the bench, while also going 7-16 from the field (2-5 3PT, 8-9 FT).
De’Aaron Fox has been an absolute star for the Sacramento Kings this year, something he continued to show with tonight’s 19-point, 11-assist double-double. Despite shooting just 5-15 from the field, Fox made 8-11 from the line and added in two steals and that incredible block. Even when he’s off, he’s still impactful and that’s what a star does.
Buddy Hield blew up again tonight in the second-half. Buddy scored 19 of his 28 points in the second-half and went 5-5 from distance after the second quarter. Hield has had a breakout over the last month and has scored 20+ in his last seven games, with 37 made threes over that same stretch and is averaging 28.2 points per game as well over his last seven. Can you say All-Star?
Next Up: Sacramento Kings (18-15) at Los Angeles Clippers (19-13) on Wednesday, Dec. 26