Kings fall to Blazers 97-83 in final home pre season game

October 9, 2017

NBA, Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings forward Justin Jackson (25) looks for an open teammate around Portland Trail Blazers defender Jusuf Nurkic (27) during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. The Trail Blazers won 97-83.(AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

By Jeremy Harness

SACRAMENTO – The Kings rested most of their stars Monday night, while the Portland Trail Blazers played just about everyone.

As a result, the only real intrigue that the game had would be if any players from either team would kneel for the national anthem. Once it was established that all of the players and coaches would stand for the anthem, it continued on as a regular preseason basketball game.

The fans did not get to see new additions Zach Randolph, George Hill nor Vince Carter, and they did not see exciting new rookie De’Aaron Fox, either. Meanwhile, Portland had its full squad on display, and the results were expectedly in the favor of the Blazers, as the Kings fell by the score of 97-83 inside a half-empty Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento, however, did have the services of rookie Justin Jackson, who scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go along with a pair of rebounds in almost 27 minutes on the floor. Skal Labissiere chipped in with 13 points while making six of his 13 shots from the floor in playing almost 36 minutes.

Monday’s game didn’t give us anything in regards to how the Kings regulars are expected to mesh with one another, since most of them sat the game out. However, Monday’s game did allow some guys who are either on the bubble or not expected to make the team at all a chance to get some burn and exposure.

One of those guys is point guard Marcus Williams, a former first-round pick who had spent the past seven years playing professionally in different leagues around Europe, Asia and Latin America. Since he left college, his career has been a reclamation project of sorts, as during his junior year at the University of Connecticut, he was kicked off the team for several months for attempting to sell stolen laptop computers.

Williams, who is not expected to make the team due to the fact that the Kings already have three point guards – rookies Fox and Frank Mason, who got the start Monday, as well as expected starter George Hill – had a nice start to Monday’s game in handing out three assists in the first quarter.

He played 18 minutes and had three points with five assists and turned the ball over only once.

For the Blazers, center Jusuf Nurkic led the team with 16 points while pulling down seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Oakland native Damian Lillard had 14 points with three assists and three rebounds, while his backcourt partner, C.J McCollum, had 12 points and three rebounds to go along with a pair of assists.owverH

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