Sacramento Kings No Match For Visiting Milwaukee Bucks, Lose 112-87
Sacramento Kings forward-center Willie Cauley-Stein tries to blocked a shot by Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe at Golden 1 Center. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. Nov. 28, 2017.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. –
The Sacramento Kings were definitely operating off a second game of a back-to-back on Tuesday night against the visiting Milwaukee Bucks at Golden 1 Center.
The Kings never recovered from getting outscored 29-11 in the second quarter and fell to the Bucks 112-87, after beating the Golden State Warriors on the road the day before. The Kings are 0-4 in second games of back-to-backs.
It’s something that Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger hopes his team learns from quickly. Milwaukee was already in Sacramento and had not played since losing to the Utah Jazz 121-108 on Nov. 25.
“You’ve got to be ready to go in the first half,” Joerger said. “Sometimes, you’re playing teams that are also on the second night of a back-to-back, and in this case, you caught a team that was focused. They were ready and sitting here waiting for us.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks (10-9) with 32 points, five rebounds, five steals, four assists, and one blocked shot in 26 minutes. Eric Bledsoe had 21 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals in nearly 24 minutes. Khris Middleton contributed 12 points.
A two-day break served the Bucks well. As a team, they made 42 of 71 shots from the field, collected 13 steals, and had five-blocked shots. Making only 19 of 31 free throws was Milwaukee’s only setback.
“I think having the opportunity to work on our defense the last two days has helped,” said Bucks head coach Jason Kidd. “And then, not only our defense, but our offense too. The guys did a really good job.”
Garrett Temple had 18 points and two rebounds for the Kings (6-15), who are now 4-6 at G1C. Buddy Hield contributed 13 points, two rebounds, and one steal. Skal Labissiere added 11 points and six rebounds.
Antetokounmpo scored 11 points and the first quarter, but had garnished two fouls in the first frame, too. That left most of the work to Eric Bledsoe who made 4 of 4 shots from the field for 13 points in the second quarter.
Bledsoe, who was traded from the Phoenix Suns to Milwaukee on Nov. 7, is also a former Kentucky Wildcat like the Kings’ rookie De’Aaron Fox. Bledsoe showed Fox that he is just as fast, or faster, than Fox. Fox was also outmuscled by Bledsoe.
“He’s fast, athletic, really strong, and it’s tough to keep guys like that out of the lane. He’s pretty hard to stop,” Fox said of Bledsoe. “I talked to him after the game and he's in a good situation. I learned a lot from him. He keeps his teammates involved and that’s something I’m trying to learn about this game.”
The Bucks built up a 24-point lead on a layup by John Henson with 1:30 left in the second quarter. The Kings made 5 of 20 shots from the field and finished with 11 points. The Bucks lead 61-37 at the break.
In the third quarter, the Bucks’ lead had climbed to a 36-point margin, with most of the damage provided by Antetokounmpo. Despite foul trouble, he had 13 points in the first quarter and 19 points in the third quarter, making 6 of 8 shots from the floor and 6 of 8 from the free-throw line.
With the game way out of reach for the Kings, the fourth quarter was basically a formality for Milwaukee. The Bucks dished out 26 assists with Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon recording five dimes, each.
“I thought we did a great job as a team and played great defense,” Bledsoe. “We do whatever it takes to win the game."
Before tonight’s game with the Buck, the Kings were averaging 9.8 steals per game in their last five games, tied for third most by a team over that stretch. Sacramento forced 16.1 turnovers per night during that span.
Bucks head coach Jason Kidd doesn't’ believe any team in the NBA is good or close to halfway decent defending the 3-point shot.
“With our group, we are extremely young. The league is young. And the No. 1 shot in the league happens to be what? The 3-point shot. We’re not the only one who can’t guard it. And when we can guard it, we have to be able to take an advantage on the offensive end to be able to shoot it.
The league has changed. There a lot of ways to try to defend the 3, but no one can defend the 3. The team that has the most guys on the floor that can make them are the ones winning championships.”
On The Marquee
Sacramento Kings: On the road at Chicago Bulls on Dec. 1.
Milwaukee Bucks: On road against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 30.
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.