by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Sacramento Kings learned the very tough lesson on Friday night that all NBA teams must learn – it is very tough to win on the road in “the Association”. After beating the Spurs in their preseason opener in Sacramento, the Kings suffered their first loss of the preseason on Friday night in “the Alamo City” losing to the Spurs 113-93.
Sacramento came out of the gate fast
The Kings outscored the Spurs 24-15 in the first quarter of the game on Friday night. Buddy Hield led the Kings scoring barrage putting up eight points in the first 12-minutes of the game. Willie Cauley-Stein and Frank Mason added four points each in what would be a 24-point first quarter for Sacramento.
Unlike Monday, it was the young the Kings who were chosen to start on Friday night on the road. Malachi Richardson, Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox were the starting five in San Antonio.
The Spurs outscored the Kings in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters
The Spurs outscored the Kings by 12 points in the second quarter, six points in the third quarter and by 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Danny Green led the way with 20 points for the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge shot 5-for-10 from the field to score 10 points for San Antonio. Brandon Paul, Bryn Forbes and Davis Bertrans scored nine points each against the Kings.
The Spurs shot 55.4-percent from the field and 48.4-percent (15-for-31) from 3-point range. San Antonio had 28 assists and 17 turnovers. That is not the ratio a team wants to have but is was good enough to post a win on Friday night.
The Kings young players were featured on Friday
Willie Cauley-Stein was the Kings leading scorer in game with 14-points. He also grabbed nine rebounds and turned the ball over just two times.
Skal Labissiere had a 13-point game for the Kings on Friday night. He went 6-for-10 from the field, hauled in two rebounds and did not turn the ball over in 25-plus minutes of playing time.
Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox each added 12-points in their time on the floor.Georgios Papagiannis played 29-minutes and recorded 10-points and three rebounds. Marcus Williams who is fighting for a spot at the end of the bench put up nine points in 13-minutes of playing time.
The Kings shot 45.2-percent from the field and 26.7-percent from 3-point land. Sacramento had 32 rebounds and 13 turnovers.
The bottom line lesson
Winning on the road in NBA is very hard. Unfortunately for the young Kings, that is a lesson that will be a lesson that will be learned many times in 2017-18.
Up next for Sacramento
The Kings will return to preseason action on Sunday night in Las Vegas when they will face the Los Angeles Lakers. Proceeds from the game will be donated to victims of the tragic shooting of the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
Harry Giles update
The Kings have revealed that Harry Giles will not be available to play until January 2018 as he continues to rehab from his surgery for an injury to his ACL. Giles who was originally projected to be the number one pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery has suffered setbacks due to knee troubles.
Giles is just 19-years old so the Kings can afford to patient. He has been most often compared to Chris Webber. If he can be close to Webber, waiting until he his fully healthy will be worth the wait.