January 19, 2018, 10:23 pm
The Sacramento Kings headed to Memphis Friday night looking to start their six-game road trip on a positive note, but an inconsistent performance offensively led them to their seventh straight loss.
The Kings were able to get off to a hot start behind some strong play from Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Aaron Fox. The duo combined for nine points in the first quarter, but the rest of the team struggled to open the game.
The issues for the rest of the team were apparent in most aspects of the game to start out, but the rebounding was particularly concerning. Memphis opened up the game with a 16-8 advantage on the glass en route to a 30-17 lead heading into the second quarter.
The game appeared to be heading in a bad direction at that point, and the beginning of the second quarter didn’t inspire much confidence. The team continue to put up bad shots and struggled to chip away at the Grizzlies lead.
The Kings eventually turned things around with a 12-0 run, tying the game at 32 points before finishing the half tied at 40. Bogdan Bogdanovic helped get things going for the team during the run, and generally acted as a calming presence for the team throughout the half.
The third quarter opened up with more lackluster play from the Kings, as the team struggled to find any rhythm on offense. Sacramento was able to turn things around a bit in the last five minutes of the quarter, but still never found their rhythm and entered the fourth quarter with an eight-point deficit.
The Kings still had a good chance to come back heading into the fourth quarter, but the team’s inability to stop the Grizzlies kept them from making a dent in the lead, allowing the Grizzlies to coast to a 106-88 victory.
- Dave Joerger announced earlier in the week that he would be resting the team’s veteran players on a more regular basis in an effort to give the Kings’ young players more opportunity, and tonight’s game was an obvious display of that. George Hill and Kosta Koufos both sat out, but more importantly the team found some decent minutes for Georgios Papagiannis and Justin Jackson. Neither player was able to do much in their time on the court, but the fact that the two players combined to play over 34 minutes is a clear sign that Joerger plans to put a much larger emphasis on development moving forward.
- Skal Labissiere stuggled to get going offensively, but there was plenty to be happy about with his performance. Labissiere was all over the court on the defensive end of the floor, finishing the game with three steals and a block in the loss. Labissiere is known for his skills on the offensive end of the court, but nights like this show just how much potential he has on both sides of the ball.
The Kings will play the second game of their six-game road trip Monday night when they visit the Hornets in Charlotte. The Hornets struggled with injury and inconsistency early in the season, but a recent surge from the team has them looking much more dangerous than their 18-25 record would indicate.