Unwatchable: Kings blown out by Raptors as NBC Sports California broadcast issues continue
Some Kings fans were frustrated because they couldn’t see Wednesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. Others were frustrated because they could.
Television viewers across the Sacramento region complained via social media when, for the second time in 48 hours, unexplained broadcast issues prevented NBC Sports California from airing much of the first half. Those who attended the game weren’t very satisfied either.
Pascal Siakam posted 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Raptors to a 113-95 victory over the Kings before a sellout crowd of 17,767 at Golden 1 Center.
“They just flat-out kicked our ass,” Kings coach Mike Brown said. “Their length, their athleticism, their switchability and their ball pressure, their physicality sped us up and we didn’t do a great job of handling that at all.”
Precious Achiuwa came off the bench to score 19 points for the Raptors (22-27), who opened a seven-game road trip with an impressive victory. Fred VanVleet added 17 points. Gary Trent Jr. had 16.
Kevin Huerter scored 19 points to lead the Kings (27-20), who are still third in the Western Conference as they set out on a seven-game road trip. De’Aaron Fox had 16 points and eight assists. Domantas Sabonis finished with nine points, eight rebounds and nine turnovers as his franchise-record streak of 23 consecutive double-doubles came to an end.
Sabonis, who is playing with an avulsion fracture in his right thumb and a cut on his left middle finger, has committed a total of 17 turnovers over the past two games. Brown was asked if the injuries are becoming more bothersome for Sabonis.
“Just watching the game or coaching the game, it doesn’t look like it,” Brown said. “One of the things we always preach is, play off of two feet, and sometimes he jumps in the air. And when you jump in the air, you’re susceptible to getting a charge or your susceptible to, OK, teams know he wants to pass, and so we kind of saw this at Golden State with Draymond (Green) at times.
“The good teams will act like they’re coming to defend Dray and then they’re spraying out to the 3-point shooters, so Domas just has to understand, he may just have to finish plays, but off of two feet or come to a jump stop and pivot, hit the open man a little sooner than what he’s doing. But in terms of if the cut’s bothering him or if the thumb is bothering him, I don’t know.”
The Kings shot 47.9% from the field and made 13 of 32 (.406) from 3-point range, but they committed 19 turnovers. The Raptors outscored the Kings 58-42 on points in the paint and 18-2 on second-chance points.
Sacramento’s bench struggled with Trey Lyles, Malik Monk, Davion Mitchell, Chimezie Metu and Richaun Holmes combining for 23 points on 7-of-23 shooting. Achiuwa and Chris Boucher combined for 35 points on 16-of-23 shooting off the bench for Toronto.
Monk said the Kings have the physicality to match teams like the Raptors — even if they didn’t have it in this game.
“We definitely have it,” Monk said. “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 need to go out and hit first.”
The Raptors led 24-23 at the end of the first quarter. They went up by as many as nine before carrying a 58-50 lead into the halftime break.
Fans watching at home missed the first quarter and most of the second quarter as NBC Sports California worked to resolve broadcast issues. Fans also missed the first quarter of Monday’s 133-100 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, when the Kings made 12 3-pointers to tie the NBA record for 3-point goals in a quarter.
@James_HamNBA @JandersonSacBee @jasonross @FCartoscelli3 NBC Sports California on @YouTubeTV isn’t even showing the game right now. Second game in a row!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/WTbi8s9SEi
— Mark (@SactownBeaming) January 26, 2023
The Raptors led the Kings by as many as 20 in the third quarter. The Kings cut the deficit to 12 on a couple occasions in the fourth quarter, but they couldn’t get any closer.
The Kings had won seven of eight to move eight games over. 500. They’ve given themselves a two-game lead over the New Orleans Pelicans for the No. 3 seed in the West.
Monk said the Kings have to move on after a poor performance against the Raptors.
“We got 82 games,” he said. “We got a lot of basketball to play. Can’t let that one game affect what’s going on next, so we’ll dwell on this tonight, forget about it tomorrow.”