Knicks vs Kings: Sacramento blocks chance of a four-game winning streak

Games like these are why it’s frustrating being a New York Knicks fan. The Knicks vs Kings matchup should have been another win for New York. The Knicks were riding a three-game winning streak. Sure, we want to be greedy but when you have a second-half debacle like this, it’s hard to keep your emotions in check. After leading by five points at the half, the Knicks fell to the Sacramento Kings 103-94. 

Main Knicks vs Kings headlines

It was nice to see the Knicks get back to their defensive ways. It looked like the Knicks were going to hold their opponent under 100 points but instead let this game slip through their fingers. The Knicks vs Kings game had to be a matchup that some circled as a potential win. Instead, the Knicks will get to think “what if?”

Not what winners do

The Kings were asking to be defeated. In the final six minutes of the game, the Kings made only three shots. Granted, they were clutch at the free-throw line with a 7-of-8 stretch to end the game. The Knicks needed somebody to step up and take a shot in crunch time. It proves that Julius Randle and RJ Barrett still have a lot of maturing to do. 

Stats don’t tell the whole story of Knicks vs Kings

With 3:52 left in the game, the Knicks trailed just 89-87. Randle missed two of his final three shots, while Barrett didn’t take a single shot and had a bad turnover. Randle had 26 points and 15 rebounds, while Barrett had 21 points and seven rebounds. For the team’s “superstars,” they need to be able to put up the stats when it counts. 

The Kings won the small battles

The Kings set a season-high with 15 blocks and recorded 15 fast breakpoints. In the second half, the Kings held the Knicks to 18 points in the third quarter and 22 in the final frame. When it came down to assists, blocks, and steals, the Kings won all of these categories. 

Knicks vs Kings game analysis & commentary

The Knicks shot 5-of-22 from three-point range, which comes out to just over 22%. This is well below the league average and unacceptable from many fronts. Just a few extra shots might have made a difference in the end. 

Mitchell Robinson is growing

Robinson finished the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds. It was his second double-double of the season. Robinson has been a point or two from many more this season but it’s great to see the 22-year old begin to look comfortable as the team’s everyday center. 

Obi Toppin should have played more in Knicks vs Kings

In 12 minutes, Toppin had six points and five rebounds. The Knicks weren’t shooting the ball well from outside and should have played to the strengths. Reggie Bullock, who finished with zero points, should have been pulled.

The Knicks should have gone with Randle, Toppin, and Robinson at times. Randle can shoot from outside if needed. Either way, he was playing well and should have played longer. He has proven that he can provide quality minutes.

Looking ahead

The Knicks take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. The Trail Blazers are 8-6 on the season, the fifth seed in the West, and haven’t played since losing to the Spurs on Monday.