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The Kings coach reflects on the struggles in Tuesday night's game.
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The Kings coach reflects on the struggles in Tuesday night's game.

Kings Blog

Jason Jones, Sacramento Kings beat writer

Kings Blog

Kings rookie guards have rough night as Antetokounmpo, Bucks dominate in blowout

By Jason Jones


November 28, 2017 09:48 PM

Stringing together wins is hard for the Kings.

Coming off an exciting victory Monday at Golden State, Sacramento followed with a clunker Tuesday night, getting pummeled 112-87 by the Milwaukee Bucks at Golden 1 Center. The Kings have won consecutive games just once this season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points in 26 minutes to lead the Bucks (10-9) and Eric Bledsoe scored 21. Both sat out the fourth quarter as Milwaukee, which shot 59.2 percent for the game, led by as many as 36.

Garrett Temple led the Kings (6-15) with 18 points in what was a night filled with missed shots and turnovers for Sacramento.

The Kings allowed a season-high 23 points off 18 turnovers while shooting just 40.3 percent. That included going 5 for 20 and scoring only 11 points in the second quarter.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Teaching points

It’s tough relying on two rookie point guards because there will be nights like Tuesday, where Bledsoe schooled the youngsters.

De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason III combined to shoot 5 for 19 with 12 points and five turnovers.

Patience is the theme, and it’s needed on nights like Tuesday. Playing veteran point guard George Hill at the two means the Kings have to trust their rookies.

Maintaining intensity is an issue

The drop-off in execution and enthusiasm was predictable, given the youth and inexperience of this team. Monday’s win over the defending champions was big, so perhaps it’s hard to get excited about playing the Bucks.

A Kings team without energy is one that gets blown out, as has been the case a lot this season. Sacramento does not have the kind of team that can routinely overcome big deficits or one bad quarter. As the season progresses, the Kings have to show they can maintain focus over the course of weeks, not just every other game.

Where’s the running?

The Kings had just 12 fast-break points, but only three through the first three quarters. The rest came when the game was already decided.

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With so many young players it would be nice to see the Kings get out and run more for easy baskets. It’s hard to run with constant turnovers and lack of defense, but the Kings have to figure out how to push the pace. They aren’t big or strong enough to win a slower game most nights, so even on made shots, the Kings need to get the ball and run more.

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.