Week in review: Kings showing signs of improvement down stretch

Kings pick up wins without Fox and Sabonis

The Kings Beat Notes

Off the Record with The Kings Beat Virtual Happy Hour Part 4: "Infectious Disease Control" was a huge success. We'll set another episode up for premium subscribers for mid-April, to coincide with the end of the season.

The Kings Beat Merch shop is thriving! We added a fire and ice t-shirt this week, which are flying off the shelf. 

I have created a discount code for subscribers that gives you 15% off your purchase until the end of March. You still have a few days to save. Discount code: KBPodcast

Lastly, it appears that I am on the mend after some struggles with a leg issue over the last few weeks. Thanks for bearing with me through it. Next weekend will look slightly different with a planned trip to New Orleans to watch the Final Four, but expect two podcasts and 3-4 articles per week throughout the offseason, including major draft, trade and free agency coverage.

Thanks again for your continued support!

Kings record: 27-48

Kings record on the week: 2-1

Much to the chagrin of fans hoping for a top lottery selection, the Kings continue to play for wins down the stretch. Interim head coach Alvin Gentry is going to play this thing out until the Kings are eliminated from play-in contention, which may not happen for a few more games.

It started on Sunday against the Suns when it took an overtime session for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference standings to overcome the Kings. Playing without De'Aaron Fox and then watching star big man Domantas Sabonis go down with a knee injury, Sacramento put in a gritty effort.

Rookie Davion Mitchell put on a show, including a running layup in the final seconds of regulation to force overtime. The Kings came up short in the closing moments, falling by the final of 127-124. 

Following the loss to Phoenix, the Kings hit the road for a five game trip starting Wednesday in Indiana. Waiting to host Sacramento was a pair of familiar faces in Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield.

Mitchell once again was the driving force behind the Kings' attack, leading the way with 25 points. Chimezie Metu added a career-high 22 points and Damian Jones finished the night off with a game-winning tip-in at the buzzer to give the Kings a 110-109 win. 

Haliburton struggled with his shot against his former team, but still managed to score 13 points and dish out 15 assists. Hield led the Pacers with 25 points, but his unforced turnover with 14 seconds remaining opened the door for the Kings to steal the win.

The Kings finished off the week Saturday in Orlando against a young, but talented Magic squad. Seven players scored in double figures, led by Mitchell's 22-point, 9-assist performance. Trey Lyles struggled with his shot, but hit the glass hard for a career-best 18 rebounds.

Alex Len gave the Kings a spark off the bench, scoring 15 points in spot duty. Mitchell once again came up huge in regulation, tying the game with 12 seconds remaining to force the overtime. He set up Donte DiVincenzo and Harrison Barnes for a pair of 3-balls in the extra frame to help lead the Kings to a 114-110 victory.

On a side note to the win in Orlando, Kings legend Jerry Reynolds stepped in for Kayte Christensen and join Mark Jones on the broadcast. It was great to hear Reynolds' voice, and Jones once again showed his versatility in working with a new partner, who was in a remote location, not sitting by his side. Hopefully Kayte is able to make a quick return to the booth in the coming games, but it's always great to hear Jerry call a game.

Injuries

De'Aaron Fox continues to sit out with a sore right hand. He has some bruising and swelling in his palm and has been listed as doubtful. According to sources, there is a good chance that he will miss the final seven games of the season, but it depends on where the Kings are in the standings once he is ready to play.

Domantas Sabonis took a shot to the left knee in the Kings' loss to the Suns on March 20. He did not travel with the team on the current five game road trip, but no structural damage was found. Like Fox, the Kings will see where they are in the standings over the next week and then make a decision on whether Sabonis returns to the court this season.

Richaun Holmes stepped away from the team to deal with a personal issue. Holmes played in just 45 games this season due to eye injuries, covid issues and personal reasons. A report from the Sacramento Bee this week outlined a custody dispute that is taking place between Holmes and his former wife, with allegations of domestic violence toward their child. There is a March 30 court date set.

Terence Davis is out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair tendon damage in his right wrist. 

Player of the Week: Davion Mitchell

Back-to-back winner? Yes, that's allowed. Mitchell has taken the reigns of the team with Fox on the shelf and strung together an impressive stretch. The rookie notched 22 points or more in each of the three games this week, averaging 25 points, 8.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 48.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from three in 43 minutes per game. He's surging over his last seven games and building some nice momentum heading into his first real NBA off-season. 

Previous winner: Davion Mitchell

Stats of the Week

  • 28/9: In the Kings' three point loss to the Suns, Mitchell set new career-highs in points, with 28 points, and assists with nine. His 46 minutes were also a career-best.
  • +2: The Kings kept it close in all three games this week, losing to the Suns by three points, beating the Pacers by one and then outlasting the Magic for a four point win for a weekly +/- of plus-two. It's late in the season, but this is valuable experience heading into the summer.
  • 5/6: With victories over the Pacers and Magic, the Kings are now five games behind the Pelicans in the loss column and six games behind the Lakers with seven games remaining in the season. They have not been eliminated from the play-in game, but their tragic number is dwindling down. They hold a tie breaker over the Lakers and a 2-1 advantage in the season series with the Pelicans with one more game to go, which leaves a small window open.
  • 28/9/18/22: Mitchell's 28 points and nine assists were career-highs. 18 rebounds for Lyles are a career-high. 22 points for Metu is a career-high. Players are stepping up and making an impact, which is a good sign for the development of this team.

Tweets of the Week

Kings make statement on Holmes:

Sabonis down:

Kings breath a sigh of relief:

Mitchell steps up:

Stingers up?:

Jones with the game winner:

Quotes of the Week

"What I'm asking him to do right now is really, really tough. He played 45 minutes tonight. And the way he plays and the intensity that he plays with, it's almost unfair, really. But he would play the whole 48 if I wanted him to." -Alvin Gentry on Mitchell

"Going into overtime, Davion Mitchell made two huge plays, one to kick out to me for the 3, and another one to the same corner to Harrison. That's growth for him and growth for our team and it's important for us." -Donte DiVincenzo on Mitchell's big performance

Weekly Reading

Weekly Podcasts

In addition to audio options, we now have the podcasts available on YouTube. Subscribe to the YouTube channel and give us a thumbs up!

What's next?

Kings vs. Miami Heat, FTX Arena, Monday 4:30PM

Kings vs. Houston Rockets, Toyota Center, Wednesday 5PM

Kings vs. Houston Rockets, Toyota Center, Friday 5PM

Subscribe to The Kings Beat with James Ham

Sacramento Kings coverage with a personal touch.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.