The Sacramento Kings started the new year and the new decade off on a fantastic note as they snapped their eight game losing streak, taking down the Memphis Grizzlies.
Even after being down by 20 at one point, the Kings stayed strong and clawed their way back into the game.
In the game, Sacramento finally broke out of their half court basketball and started running the floor, giving the Grizzlies fits on defense.
The Kings had a pace factor (PACE) of 108.00 last night, which was 10.22 points higher than their season average. On top of that, the offensive rating yesterday was a whopping 118.5! Much higher than their season average of 106.9.
Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox seemed to benefit the most from the up-tempo play as we saw the backcourt duo thrive together, a seemingly rare occurrence by this season’s standards.
Hield ended the night with 26 points on 8/17 shooting and 5/9 from deep along with 7 boards and 3 assists. Fox padded his stat sheet dropping 27 points on 9/18 shooting as well as grabbing 4 rebounds and dishing out 9 dimes.
The fast paced play is exactly what the Kings needed to break out of their slump and get going. It was an exceptional win and if the Kings keep up this style of play, they could cause problems in the League during the remainder of the season.
After last night’s win, the Kings now only sit two games out of the eighth seed and face the Pelicans, Warriors, and Suns in their next three games, all of which are very winnable.
Most teams that go through an eight game losing streak at this point in the season would be far from a playoff spot, but the Kings have shown their grit to this point.
It will be interesting to see how Walton handles the rest of the season as he tries to end Sacramento’s 14 year postseason drought.
But if he wants to succeed, he will need to continue the trend from yesterday’s game and play the rest of the season fast and furious.