The season-best nine-game series of wins set up by the New York Knicks was obliterated by one of the most awful groups in the NBA.
When the Knicks face the Sacramento Kings, the league’s most surprising team, on Thursday night, they hope to kick off a new run of success.
During the streak, New York defeated the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, and Miami Heat twice. On Tuesday, the streak came to an end with a 112-105 home loss to the Charlotte Hornets, the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference.
After taking a 16-point lead at the half, the Knicks suddenly lost steam and were outscored 62-39 in the second half.
New York suffered its first defeat since acquiring guard Josh Hart from the Portland Trail Blazers four weeks prior to this defeat.
Jalen Brunson, a star point guard, has been out of the last two games with a foot injury. However, he did travel to Sacramento for the first of a four-game western swing. He may or may not be available against the Kings.
For New York, Immanuel Quickley started the previous two games in Brunson’s place. He had a career-high 38 points in Sunday’s 131-129 double-overtime road win over the Celtics, but he only had 14 points against the Hornets on 5-of-16 shooting.
The Kings, who have won six of their last seven games to tie the Memphis Grizzlies for second place in the Western Conference, will challenge the Knicks to a comeback.
A team that has missed the playoffs in each of the previous 16 seasons is unprepared for Sacramento’s lofty status. In point of fact, if the Kings (38-26) defeat New York, they will tie their record for most victories during their lengthy drought.
The 2005–06 season, which also marked Sacramento’s last playoff appearance, was the last time the team even had a winning season.
The Kings’ top priority is putting an end to the drought.
After defeating the New Orleans Pelicans 123-108 at home on Monday, Sacramento is coming off a win. With 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, Domantas Sabonis recorded his eighth triple-double of the season, bringing his total of 52 double-doubles, which is the most in the league.
Kevin Huerter, who scored 25 points and is averaging 24 in the first three games of a four-game homestand, was another standout. Huerter has made six treys in his last two games and is 15 of 23 (65.2%) from beyond the arc over the last three games.
In February, Huerter made just 29.2% of his attempts from three-point range.
After missing one game, the Kings anticipate having All-Star point guard De’Aaron Fox (hamstring) back for the game.