What we learned as Giannis drops 46 in Kings' loss to Bucks

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SACRAMENTO -- The Kings took the floor in Sacramento as a 40-win team for the first time since 2006 on Monday night, but they will have to continue searching for victory No. 41.
 
With the three Kings fans who went viral at summer league for their 40-win prediction sitting courtside at Golden 1 Center, Sacramento came up short Monday night in a 133-124 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
 
Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo kept up with the NBA’s top-ranked offense with 46 points to defeat the Kings for the second time this season.
 
The Kings led by double digits for much of the first half, but Antetokounmpo’s 19 third-quarter points put Sacramento to bed with no beam lighting up the Sacramento sky.
 
Sacramento slid back to the No. 3 playoff seed in the West after the Memphis Grizzlies (41-26) whomped the Dallas Mavericks 104-88 earlier Monday night.
 
Here are three takeaways from the Kings’ win over the Bucks:

Let it rain

The Kings had the 3-ball working Monday night.

Sacramento hit six 3-pointers in the first quarter alone and drained 21 throughout the game, just two short of their franchise-record 23 set earlier this season against the Orlando Magic. 

Kevin Huerter nailed a career-high eight 3-pointers in the loss to set a new career high.

The Kings previously were 20-2 in 22 games with at least 15 triples and 5-0 in games with at least 20 triples.

The Bucks, on the other hand, were ice cold from deep to start but turned it around in the second half. Milwaukee missed 12 of 17 attempts in the opening two quarters, but the Bucks drained 10 3-pointers in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Scrapping late

Tempers flared late in the fourth quarter.

Bucks center Brook Lopez went after Trey Lyles after it appeared the Kings forward made contact with Giannis Antetokounmpo with 15.6 seconds left in the game.

Both players were ejected from the game.

This team belongs

Not that the Kings, who feature the NBA’s top offense, need any more validation, but they went toe-to-toe with Milwaukee, a team with a two-time MVP, championship pedigree and the most wins in basketball on Monday night.

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Moral victories won’t be found in Sacramento this season, but the Kings didn’t back down from challenging Antetokounmpo and played the Bucks much tougher than their previous defeat in December. 
 
Sure, once the playoffs come around, there will be plenty of time to sweat Sacramento’s defense. But the Kings have proven it’s difficult to outscore this offense once, much less four times in a playoff series.

The Bucks were just able to do it Monday night.

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