Short-handed Kings fall back into bad habits in loss to magic



De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley were both sidelined with injuries and the Sacramento Kings put forth a rather uninspired effort in a disappointing 123-112 loss to the Orlando Magic Friday nigh at the Golden 1 Center. The defeat dropped the squad to 12-13 for the season.


Fox (knee) and Bagley (calf) were both held out of the contest, so rookie Tyrese Haliburton got his second start of the season. He finished with 14 points and seven assists but was far from his usual winning ways.


In fact, the entire starting lineup was rather unimpressive all night. Especially on the defensive side as they allowed Orlando to shoot 50.5 percent from the field, including 44.1 percent from deep. Those numbers are reminiscent of Sacramento’s struggles earlier in the season when they lost 9-of-11 games and showed no pride in their defense.


Orlando’s Nikola Vicevic dominated the Kings’ throughout the game hitting from all over the court for 42 points, just one off his career high. In the last week guys named Nikola have lit up the Kings for 92 points, as Denver’s Nikola Jokic dropped 50 on Sacramento last Saturday.


Some bright news for Sacramento was the return of Nemanja Bjelica who came off the bench to score 15 points, grab nine rebounds, and dish out six assists in 28 minutes of action. While he probably will not be with the team much longer as trade rumors abound, putting up such a stat line after missing so many games can only improve the Kings’ return on any trade. The guy can still play ball.


Sacramento will need to get it together soon as the Memphis Grizzlies come to town on Sunday. They represent one of the team’s the Kings are likely to be battling with for the playoff/play-in spots by the end of the season.


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