The Sacramento Kings are growing up right before our eyes. On Tuesday night, the Kings beat the Denver Nuggets 125-115 thanks in large part to the production they got out of their promising back court tandem of De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton.
Coming off of a disappointing outing against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, Fox was at the center of everything the Kings did offensively on Tuesday, scoring 24 points on an efficient 8-of-15 shooting from the field and dishing out a team-high nine assists. If you can believe it, Harrison Barnes had eight assists, which is a career-high for him.
Fox has had nice stat lines before, but this one feels different because of the way he took over in the fourth quarter. The stakes were high, or as high as they can be for a game this early into the season, and he delivered. That’s what you want out of the face of your franchise.
Equally composed on Tuesday night was Tyrese Haliburton, who’s quickly making people question how he fell to the No. 12 spot in the 2020 NBA Draft. He’s also making people wonder whether or not he’s actually a rookie.
In 24:54, Haliburton did a little bit of everything for the Kings, tallying 13 points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals. For someone who didn’t have the luxury of playing in NBA Summer League, he understands the speed of an NBA game as well as anyone. He’s good, and if he keeps this up, he’ll be getting Rookie of the Year consideration sooner rather than later.
In total, seven Kings finished the night with double figures, including Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley III, who finished with a combined 38 points on Tuesday night. That’s no small feat against the likes of Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap. They were great, and they’re only going to get better — Bagley especially.
The Kings still have some areas they need to clean up. After all, they nearly let this game slip away from them by letting the Nuggets go on a 17-0 run in the quarter. But they’re proving they’re talented enough to keep games close, and scrappy enough to win. Those things make for a fun, young team.