Kings discover protection, physicality in win over gritty Knicks initially appeared on NBC Sports activities Bayarea
SACRAMENTO — The New York Knicks will not be an offensive juggernaut, however they’re nonetheless a gritty group that got here into Friday night time’s matchup in opposition to the Kings at .500 and driving a three-game win streak.
Early within the night time, the Knicks tried to push the Kings round, particularly on the glass the place they held a 33-26 rebound benefit and a 19-2 benefit in second probability factors heading into halftime.
When the 2 groups got here out of the locker room after the intermission, there was a special really feel to the sport. Hoping to snap a 4 sport shedding streak, Sacramento seemed prepared for the duty at hand and so they discovered a brand new gear.
“Not solely did we match, however I believed we have been the extra bodily group within the second half,” Luke Walton stated following the Kings’ 103-94 win.
Making an attempt to keep away from a fifth straight loss, the Kings got here out and turned up the depth. They made some changes to their schemes, however the largest change got here within the drive and power they have been exerting on the court docket.
“Anytime you play a [Tom] Thibodeau coached group, you already know they’re going to play arduous, you already know they’re going to play bodily, so it’s a must to meet that problem early,” Harrison Barnes stated.
With New York taking part in on the second night time of a back-to-back, the Kings used their pace to show up the tempo of the sport, however in addition they received after it on the defensive finish.
As a group, Sacramento set a brand new season-high in blocks with 14. Richaun Holmes led the way in which with six and rookie Tyrese Haliburton added a brand new career-high with 4 blocks.
Even when the Knicks received inside on the Kings, each shot was challenged. For one night time, the Kings, who’ve been traditionally unhealthy on the defensive finish by way of the primary 15 video games, confirmed that they have been uninterested in getting pushed round.
“For an absence of a greater time period, we’ve type of been punked the final couple of video games,” Haliburton stated. “Groups popping out, being overly bodily with us. Getting us out of our rhythm offensively and defensively, they’re able to getting wherever they wish to get to.”
It wasn’t a factor of magnificence, however within the second half, the Kings outrebounded New York, held them to only 18 factors within the third quarter and did the little issues that it takes to win on the NBA degree.
Sacramento held the Knicks to only 38.3 % from the sphere and 22.7 % from lengthy vary. These are each season bests.
“I believe our half court docket protection was good, so we didn’t shoot ourselves within the foot tonight,” De’Aaron Fox stated.
It’s only one sport, however there was loads to love concerning the effort from Sacramento. It was their finest defensive efficiency of the season, however they should have it carry over into the upcoming video games or it’s only a one off.
“We take it sport by sport, however for now, it is a step in the fitting path,” Barnes stated. “And it’s on us as gamers to proceed to carry the hassle that we did tonight into the following sport.”
The Kings have had little or no apply time for the reason that begin of the season on December 23. That gained’t be the case within the upcoming days.
With the Memphis Grizzlies being compelled to postpone their matchups in opposition to the Kings on Sunday and Monday, Sacramento now has a 4 day break to actually hone in on a few of their points, particularly on the defensive finish.
The Kings will resume their schedule on Wednesday after they tackle the Magic in Orlando. Hopefully they’ll carry a few of the good emotions from Friday night time’s victory on the highway with them.