Kings End Road Trip In Atlanta With A Victory

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The first road trip of the season ended in Atlanta with the Sacramento Kings securing their second win of the three games played away from home.

The Sacramento Kings went into State Farm Arena to play the John Collins-less Atlanta Hawks in the final game of their short road trip after dropping their last game in Toronto. The Kings had reason to be optimistic heading into the game and were able to come out victorious.

Some of the previous issues resurfaced, Harry Giles played his first minutes of the season, and the bench showed what many hoped to see heading into 2019-20.

The Kings came out the gate hot and dominated the Hawks in the first half on 7/14 shooting from three while Atlanta only managed to knock down two from range in an equal amount of attempts. Sacramento’s defense was playing well and hustling, but more weight should be on Atlanta’s cold shooting.

While it felt like the Kings could cruise to a victory in a similar fashion to what was seen in New York, the third quarter struggles returned. The Kings allowed 36 points in the period, the fourth occasion of Sacramento allowing that total or higher in a quarter in this young season.

They began to settle, the effort levels waned, and Trae Young decided it was time to take over. Young would finish the third quarter with 16 points and 4 assists, but luckily Trevor Ariza and Bogdan Bogdanovic hit some timely shots in the closing minutes of the period to allow Sacramento to hold a 91-83 lead heading into the final 12 minutes of regulation.

Those two would not slow down. Bogdanovic ended the night going 5/6 from three, the one miss being an attempt when the game was already secured, and only one of those looks involved self-creation.

Bogdanovic and Ariza combined to score 23 of the 30 points in the fourth, each playing the entirety of the final quarter. De’Aaron Fox played 3 minutes down the stretch of a close game, and Buddy Hield did not see the floor at all in the fourth after a hot start. That is the type of bench play that all of Sacramento was hoping to see after the offseason signings that drastically strengthened the depth of the Kings’ roster.

Individual Performances

Six Kings’ would end up breaking double-digit scoring with Hield leading the way with 22 points. Harrison Barnes continues to see the most minutes, being the only player in purple to see more than 30 minutes of playing time in Atlanta, as he often is the first subbed out and then put back in to play with the second unit.

This was Dewayne Dedmon‘s return to where he spent the last two seasons of his career playing his best basketball and earning a solid paycheck from Vlade Divac, yet he saw just 11 minutes of playing time. I understand that the shot from deep hasn’t been falling anywhere near his 38% rate from last season and the turnover rate has been asinine, but Dedmon is better than he has shown and simply needs to play through it. I have not been particularly impressed with Holmes after his great start to the year and think that Dedmon offers more on the defensive end of the ball. Some of those minutes at the five were thrown toward Harry Giles for the first time this year.

Giles, who just had his roughly $4 million team option for his third season turned down, played seven minutes and wore his heart on his sleeve as Kings’ fans have grown accustomed to seeing. A stellar block, 4 points, and a rebound were all he managed but it was a pleasing debut for the big man.

It will be intriguing to keep an eye on his level of play after Sacramento turned down that option, making Giles an unrestricted free agent this upcoming offseason where the Kings can exclusively offer up to that close to $4 million price tag.

Next. Dear Holmes Family, Welcome To Sacramento. dark

Sacramento was able to hold out their third-quarter issues on the shoulder of some stellar bench play and secure a 121-109 win against the Hawks, improving their record to 3-6.

The next game for the Sacramento Kings comes back in the Golden 1 Center featuring a rematch against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, November 12th.