Kings takeaways: What we learned in 102-94 road win over Knicks

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The early wake-up call for the Sacramento Kings almost cost them dearly.

With a noon ET start Saturday in New York, the Kings struggled to hit shots in the first half, and the Knicks built a 15-point lead.

Eventually, Sacramento woke up, and the ball started to fall through the net. New York responded with a fourth-quarter push, but the Kings made adjustments and came away with a 102-94 win to open their four-game road trip. 

Here are three takeaways as the Kings moved back over the .500 mark at 33-32 on the season.

Fox in a Hen House

With his team stuck in reverse early in the game, De’Aaron Fox kept the game within striking distance. He continued to push the tempo in the third quarter and helped break the game wide open.

After the second unit struggled to open the fourth, Kings coach Dave Joerger went back to Fox and his starting unit, and they carried home the win.

The speedster finished his game with 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting to go with eight assists and five rebounds. His scoring outburst was just one point off his career high of 31.

Lid on the basket 

The Kings came out cold. Really cold. Maybe it was the 9 a.m. PT start. Maybe it was the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. Whatever the cause, it was ugly in the first half.

Led by a 2-of-12 start for Buddy Hield, the Kings shot just 32 percent in the first half, including a 4-of-14 start from behind the arc for the team. 

Sacramento trailed by as many as 15 before the intermission but still found a way to claw back into the game and take a 48-46 lead into the half. Against almost any other team, a start like this would have proven disastrous.

Hield the Heater

After his abysmal first half, Buddy Hield looked like Buddy Hield in the third quarter.

Sacramento’s leading scorer went to work, hitting 5 of 7 shots in the third, including four 3-pointers. He finished the quarter with 14 points to help propel the Kings to an 80-68 lead going to the fourth.

Hield finished the game with 19 points on 7-of-22 shooting, and chipped in four rebounds.

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