Sacramento Kings win comfortably in Madison Square Garden

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The momentum is on the Sacramento Kings’ side now after stepping over the New York Knicks for their second straight victory.

The New York Knicks were the worse team on Sunday night in Madison Square Garden against the Sacramento Kings. And boy did Sacramento need a win like this.

Sacramento took the lead at the 7:51 mark in the first quarter, and never looked back as they won by a comfortable margin. This win should bode well for the confidence of this young group that was in the gutter after their loss last week against the Charlotte Hornets.

Both the Knicks and Kings came into this game with five losses and a singular win, but the Kings were expected to be better than this New York team heading into the season. Which is exactly what they displayed.

It was more of the Knicks losing the game than the Kings winning it, but either way, it goes into the win column. And Sacramento was not beating the teams that they were favored to do so previously. They had to at the very least show the capability to play competent basketball and they did that Sunday night.

The Knicks went with Bobby Portis at their starting five rather than Mitchell Robinson to get more spacing on the offensive end and switch everything defensively. But Portis stood no chance of staying in front of De’Aaron Fox or Buddy Hield. Fox specifically would blow past him with ease and finished with a stellar 24 points, six assists, two rebounds, a steal, and a memorable block in 35 minutes.

Buddy bounced back after not hitting a single three in the game prior and went 5/11 from downtown ending with 22 points of his own along with four rebounds, an assist, a block, and a steal of his own.

Sacramento went into halftime leading by 20 points and showed no signs of a third-quarter collapse. The Kings wound up winning their first third quarter of the season 29-23. Hopefully, the mental game of the first 12 minutes after halftime has come to a permanent halt.

All 13 players on the roster would eventually see minutes on the floor, and even though it was a clear blowout, Walton was not comfortable enough to pull his starters early. Richaun Holmes and Buddy both played 30 minutes, Fox logged in 35, and Harrison Barnes played a team-high 40 minutes.

The New York Knicks came into the season as the best offensive rebounding team in the association but caused no trouble for the Kings in that regard.

At the time of the final buzzer, Sacramento had pulled down 49 rebounds in comparison to New York’s 39 total, only 9 of those being offensive. It seemed as though it was in the gameplan to focus on defensive rebounding and boxing out, which lead to a slower pace than some viewers would have liked. But the Kings easily worked their halfcourt offense effectively.

In future showings, the Kings will need to find a balance between defensive rebounding and speed of play, likely sacrificing one for the other. Having De’Aaron Fox on your team should make that an easy choice for Luke Walton.

The Knicks only shot 25% from three and 40% from the field in this loss where Sacramento was unquestionably the better roster and exhibited higher effort levels. It sure is nice to say they outhustled their opponent for the second time in a row.

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The matchup against New York is just the beginning of a three-game road trip. The next game is across the border to face the Toronto Raptors (4-2) on Wednesday, November 6th.