Brown, Monk believe Raptors physicality bothered Kings originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
As the saying goes "defense wins championships" and for the Kings on Wednesday, their 113-95 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Golden 1 Center showed they have a long way to go.
After holding the Memphis Grizzlies to only 10 points in the fourth quarter Monday, it appeared as if Sacramento was taking a step in the right direction. However, against Raptors (22-27), the Kings (27-20) invariably took two steps back.
"They just flat out kicked our ass, it's simple," Kings head coach Mike Brown told reporters postgame. "Their length, their athleticism, their switch-ability, their ball pressure, their physicality sped us up and we didn't do a great job of handling that at all.
"So we all got our behinds kicked, from me on down."
Though the game was relatively close at halftime -- with the Kings down 58-50 after the first two quarters -- the third quarter was where the wheels came off for Sacramento.
In the third quarter alone, the Kings had almost as many turnovers (6) as made baskets (8). The eight-point deficit ballooned to 17, 84-67, as Toronto outscored the Kings 26-17 in the period.
Toronto came out of the break motivated to force Sacramento to make tough plays, which Kings guard Malik Monk noticed.
"They did a great job at it," Monk said. "They were super physical, they were into us, unlike the last couple teams we played, and they executed their game plan."
The 24-year-old also noted that the Raptors' defensive game plan forced the Kings to play in uncomfortable and physical situations, situations that they need to be comfortable with if they want to be a playoff team.
"We definitely haven't," Monk said in regards to whether the Kings adjusted to the Raptors' style of play. "We've just got to come out of the gate and hit first.
"We've got to stop getting hit in the mouth first -- I think we do that a little too much and we've got to go out and hit first."
Raptors forward Pascal Siakam seemingly got wherever he wanted to in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his game-high 26 points in those 12 minutes alone, doing all of his damage from inside the 3-point line.
Overall, the Raptors also had 24 more shot attempts than the Kings and nailed 49.5 percent of them (48-of-97). Toronto had 16 more points in the paint than Sacramento and outscored the Kings 18-2 in second-chance points.
"They killed us when it came to offensive rebounding and second-chance points, points in the paint," Brown continued. "Those are the things I told them -- I said, 'We lost the possession game and if you lose the possession game that bad, by 24 possessions, it's going to be tough to win.' "
What's more, Kings center Domantas Sabonis had an uncharacteristic outing, especially by his standards.
The 6-foot-11 Sabonis had nine turnovers against Toronto -- his second game in a row with eight or more turnovers -- and scored nine points, eight rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes of action. That snapped Sabonis' 24-game double-double streak, which was the longest in Kings franchise history.
In all, despite the disappointing outcome, Brown is optimistic that the Kings will use this loss as a learning experience.
"They got up in our chest and they were very, very physical with us and it sped us up and we didn't handle it well ... and so trying to learn from this game, more than anything else is where I'm at," Brown said. "You know, I don't know if I can sit here and say I'm frustrated that we lost, but more so want to try to learn from this and grow from this game."
After their four-game homestand, the Kings will embark on a seven-game road trip, starting with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
Perhaps the lengthy road trip can help the Kings understand how to take the proper step in becoming a more formidable defensive unit.