No Kawhi–no problem! Raptors beat Kings 120-105 Tuesday night

raptors kings 2
Photo:@Raptors

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Toronto Raptors handed the Kings their second consecutive loss in two days as they downed Sacramento 120-105 at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday night. This was the second game of a back-to-back set that began in Brooklyn on Monday. The Nets beat the Kings 123-94 on MLK Day.

Battle of the Tiers

The Raptors are a Tier One team. They know that they will be playing deep into the month of May and could be playing in the month of June for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Their 36 wins are the most in the NBA to date.

The Kings are a Tier Three team that is working very hard to become a Tier Two team. Becoming a Tier Two team does not mean that they would make the playoffs this season, but it would mean they would have very few ping pong balls in the barrel for the NBA Draft Lottery.

The Kings are just four wins away from matching their win total of the 2017-18 season, and they still have 34 games to play in the regular season. Sacramento is just 1.5 games out playoff contention, even after losing on Tuesday night.

Both teams played shorthanded

raptors kings tor starters
Up North Starting Five @Raptors

The Raptors played without Kawhi Leonard, who has been on an eight-day break. Leonard has now sat out 13 games this season and the Raptors are 11-2 without him in the lineup. That is what you call depth.

Toronto plays the Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday night, and it is believed that the Raptors felt it was more important to have Kawhi available for that game than to play against the Kings at home on Tuesday night.

The official reason for Leonard’s absence was “Rest-Load Management”. Some observers are beginning to ask if Leonard would be worth a long-term contract investment since he has needed to be rested 13 times in 49 games to date this season.

raptors kings scorers
Kings Starting Five @SacramentoKings

The Kings also held out three key players on Tuesday night. De’Aaron Fox and Nemanja Bjelica did not dress and did not play. That was listed as a coach’s decision. Iman Shumpert was also held out of the game for “Rest-Load Management”.

Coach Dave Joerger mentioned in his postgame comments that two of those players went through therapy on Tuesday without giving any details. It would be fair to project that Fox was one of those players since he has needed on-going attention for a shoulder he injured approximately one month ago.

The Raptors did not miss a beat without Kawhi

raptors kings saikam
Siakam jams it home Photo: @Raptors

Six Raptors scored in double figures in the win over the Kings on Tuesday night (four were starters):

  • Fred VanVleet put up 19 points to go with seven assists and seven rebounds. VanVleet has been the “designated started” when Leonard has been unavailable.
  • Kyle Lowry also scored 19 points and dished out nine dimes in 34-minutes on the floor.
  • Pascal Siakam put 18 points up on the board, shooting 8-for-14 from the floor.
  • Serge Ibaka had a double-double night, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
  • CJ Miles came off the bench to score 15 points in just over 15-minutes in the game. Miles hit 4-of-5 3-point attempts.
  • Norman Powell was the last of the double-figure scorers with 11 points.

Toronto refused to let the Kings build a lead in this game. The biggest lead for SAC on the night was five points. There were seven lead changes and six ties. The Raptors’ largest lead of the game was 19 points.

The Kings had seven players score in double figures

raptors kings mb35
Graphic @SacramentoKings

Sacramento has some strong individual performances, but they could not put together the runs they needed to stay with the Raptors. Much like game on Monday in Brooklyn, the Kings kept things close in the first half then the game started slipping away in the third quarter. By the time the clock started in the fourth quarter, the game became a runaway for the home team.

Important Kings performers:

  • Marvin Bagley III made his first start of the season and he did not disappoint. MBIIIV scored a game-high 22 points and made it a double-double by adding 11 rebounds. It will not be his last start of the season.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic put 16 points in the book to go along with nine assists and eight rebounds. “Bogi” also had three steals in the contest.
  • Buddy Hield scored a “quiet” 15 points in the game. He shot 5-for-14 overall and hit just two 3-point baskets. Hield did dish out five assists, but one has to wonder if fatigue was not a bit of a factor for “Buddy Buckets” in the game.
  • Harry Giles III had a very productive 22-plus minutes off the bench for the Kings on Tuesday night. He scored 11 points, shooting 4-for-8 from the floor.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein, Yogi Ferrell and Ben McLemore each scored 10 points in the game.

Key Numbers

  • The Kings outscored the Raptors 50-46 in the paint
  • Toronto scored 24 Second Chance Points to 12 for Sacramento
  • The Raptors scored 26 Fast Break Points to 16 for the Kings

Up Next

The Kings (24-24) will travel to Memphis on Wednesday to prepare for their game with the Grizzlies (19-28) on Friday night.

The Raptors (36-13) will face the Pacers (31-15) in Indy on Wednesday night.

Kings bounce back Saturday with a 103-101 “ugly” win over the Pistons on the road

pistons kings final
Graphic/Photo:@NBCSCA

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Kings began their longest road trip of the year on Thursday night with a disappointing 114-95 loss in Charlotte. That was a game that should have gone in the win column for the Kings on this six-city road swing.

Sacramento had the table set for them on Saturday night going into the game. The Pistons were playing the second game of a back-to-back set after having played the Miami Heat on Friday night. Detroit also lost center Andre Drummond in the first quarter of the Miami game when an arm in the face caused a nasal injury that would also keep him out of the game versus the Kings.

This was a snoozer for three quarters
In fact, you could make the case that this game was a sleep inducer for 44 minutes. After 36 minutes, the Pistons held an 82-74 lead over the Kings. Detroit was controlling the pace. Blake Griffin was leading the scoring for the Pistons and Luke Kennard was sinking 3-pointers with ease.

The Kings were just hanging on in the game. They were allowing the Pistons to set a slow-down pace. SAC was shooting poorly (26.3%) from downtown, and they were allowing Detroit to outrebound them. The Kings seemed satisfied to trail the Pistons by 10 points.

At the end of three quarters, things did not look good for Sacramento fans.

Welcome to the “Buddy Buckets Show”

pistons buddy zone
In the 4th quarter, Hield was in the zone Photo:@SacramentoKings

Buddy Hield scored 20 points in the first half of the game on Saturday night. He played the entire third quarter and scored no points while shooting 0-for-3 from the field. Things looked grim indeed for the men from Sacramento.

Hield scored his first points of the second half with 3:26 to go in the game. He hit a 27-foot 3-point jump shot set up by an assist from Iman Shumpert. That cut the Detroit lead to four points.

After a Pistons miss, Hield promptly cut the Pistons lead to one after he hit another 27-foot 3-point bucket.

Hield went on to hit a 17-foot field goal, a free throw, and another 3-point basket during his 12-point blitz.

The Kings regained control of the ball with 3.4-seconds to go in the game when they grabbed the rebound off of Reggie Jackson’s missed jump shot. Sacramento called an immediate timeout in order to be able to inbound the ball in the frontcourt.

Bogdan Bogdanovic inbounded the ball to Hield. Hield, who was surrounded by three Piston defenders, lost control of the ball but was able to regain control. He turned and jumped off one leg then shot a 28-foot 3-point shot that went through the bucket at the buzzer to give the Kings the win.

Sacramento escaped the Little Caesar’s Arena with a 103-101 win over the stunned Detroit Pistons.

“(It was) my first buzzer beater in the NBA,” said Hield after the game. “It was one of those things as a kid you wanted to do and you want to cherish. I hope I have many more to come.”

Kings’ numbers on the night (24-22)

pistons kings 5
Kings starting five in Detroit Photo: @SacramentoKings

Hield was the Kings leading scorer with 35 points. He shot 13-for-22 overall and hit 7-of-9 from behind the arc. Hield also grabbed nine rebounds (3 OR).

Dave Joerger was full of praise for Buddy after the game, but he also wanted to point out the performances of some of his other players. “De’Aaron Fox had a terrific game even though he didn’t shoot the basketball (well). Iman Shumpert had a really nice night defensively. Marvin Bagley fought like crazy. Harry (Giles) fought like crazy. Those guys are getting better. It’s a great learning experience trying to learn. They’re learning it doesn’t take losses to learn.” Joerger also added that he thought, “Willie Cauley-Stein was solid tonight.”

Other contributors:

  • De’Aaron Fox had a double-double, scoring 14 points and dishing out 10 dimes
  • Marvin Bagley III put in 14 points–many with Blake Griffin in his face
  • Willie Cauley-Stein added 12 points and six rebounds
  • Bogdanovic and Giles scored eight points apiece

SAC team stats

  • The Kings hit 40-of-89 (44.9%) of their field goals in the game
  • They put in 10-of-25 (40%) of their 3-point attempts, thanks to Hield’s fourth quarter blitz
  • SAC converted 13-of-18 (72.2%) free throw attempts
  • They were outrebounded 46-39
  • Sacramento recorded 30 assists and made just 13 turnovers, which resulted in 17 Detroit points

Detroit by the numbers (20-25)

  • Blake Griffin was the game’s leading scorer with 38 points. He was also the game’s leading complainer as he had something to say to the officials after every play. He was especially boorish to referee Natalie Sago.
  • Luke Kennard put in 19 points off the bench.
  • Zaza Pachulla hauled in 12 rebounds
  • Bruce Brown recorded a career-high 10 rebounds

Up next
The Kings left the Motor City after the game for New York City. SAC will play the Brooklyn Nets (24-23) on Monday afternoon at 12:30 PM PST. The game can be seen on NBCSCA and heard on the Kings Radio Network.

The Pistons also play on Martin Luther King Day as they will be in Washington to take on the Wizards.

pistons buddy post
One happy “Star of the Game” Photo: @SacramentoKings

Cardiac Kings do it again with a fourth quarter, come-from-behind 122-117 win over the Pelicans

pels giles
Harry Giles III tips the ball back into the basket Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings won their second consecutive come from behind in the fourth quarter game on Sunday night as they defeated Anthony “the Brow” Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 122-117. The Kings trailed the Pelicans by as many as 19 points in the contest, and frankly, it did not appear that the home team would have enough momentum to overcome the New Orleans lead.

The Kings had trouble putting the ball in the basket right from the beginning of the game. At one point in the first quarter, Sacramento was shooting just 25-percent from the field while New Orleans was hitting more than 50-percent of their shots. The Pels dominated the paint and were converting high percentage shots. The Kings were not taking bad shots, but their shots were not dropping.

The Kings shooting improved in the second quarter (48.1-percent) and they were able to match the Pelicans point for point. Each team scored 33 points in the second period. Buddy Hield led the scoring attack for SAC with nine points. New Orleans was paced by Jrue Holiday who hit 7-of-9 shots for 14 points.

At the half, New Orleans held a 69-58 lead over Sacramento.

The third quarter was dominated by a former Wildcat and Sooner. New Orleans center Anthony Davis scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds for his team as they scored 27 points in the period. Buddy Hield led the charge for Sacramento scoring 11 points in the third. He went for 4-for-4 shooting (3-for-3 from 3-point land). The Kings won the quarter 28-27. At the end of 36 minutes, the Pelicans held a 96-86 lead over the Kings.

pels jump ball
Koufos and Miller jump ball in 4th quarter Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

The Kings went on a comeback run that saw them outscore the Pelicans 36-21 in the final quarter. Sacramento was paced by De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic who each scored nine points in the period. Buddy Hield stayed hot as he recorded eight points. Willie Cauley-Stein hauled in nine of his career-high 17 rebounds in the final 12-minutes. The Kings went on a mission in the final quarter and they were not going to be denied. When the final buzzer sounded, the Kings (18-15) had defeated the Pelicans (15-19) 122-117.

Willie Cauley-Stein had a monster game

The Kings center played just over 35-minutes in his team’s victory. He scored 22 points and made it a double-double as he pulled down a career-high 17 (four offensive) rebounds. WCS shot 10-for-19 from the floor and went 2-for-4 from behind the 3-point line. The big man also made three steals in the game.

 

 

 

 

De’Aaron Fox posted a double-double

The Kings versatile point guard made it a double-double game in the win over the Pelicans on Sunday night. He scored 19 points and dished out 11 assists. Fox also added two steals. He did all of this while still nursing a sore shoulder injured in the game on Friday with Memphis.

“Buddy Buckets” was amazing again

Buddy Hield was the leading scorer in the game on Sunday. He put 28 points in the book in 36-plus minutes of playing time. Hield shot 11-for-16 from the field and hit 6-of-11 from behind the 3-point arc. He also pulled in six rebounds.

pels buddy
Buddy Hield lets it fly from 3-point land Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Bogi comes up Big

Bogdan Bogdanovic is finding his legs and really getting into the flow of the game. On Sunday afternoon, he scored 24 points shooting 7-for-16 from the floor. Bogdanovic hit 2-of-5 from long range and converted 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. He also dished out seven dimes.

pels bogi
Bogi sinks one from the free throw line Photo: Charlie O. Mallonee

Coach Joerger summarizes the game

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pelicans numbers

Pels logo

  • Leading scorer Jrue Holiday with 27 points, seven rebounds, and six assists
  • Anthony Davis scored 26 points pulled down 17 rebounds (double-double) plus four assists and four blocked shots
  • Julius Randle put up 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds

The Pelicans were extremely frustrated after the loss to the Kings. Giving up a 19 point lead and losing by five points will make you walk the aisle of the plane all the way back to the “Big Easy” out of frustration.

Up next

The Kings next game will be on Wednesday, December 26 at the Staples Center versus the Los Angeles Clippers. The Kings lost to the Clippers at the Golden 1 Center on November 29, 133-121.

The Pelicans next game will be in Dallas on December 26. New Orleans beat the Mavs on December 5th, 132-105.

Kings: “A little wedgie let them down!” Warriors win 117-116 on Saturday night

Kings 5 at GSW

By Charlie O. Mallonee

Last season–if this reporter were to tell you that the Sacramento Kings had a chance to beat the Golden State Warriors on the road with 0.03 seconds to go in the game–you would call that reporter a delusional liar. Yet, on Saturday night in Oakland, that was exactly the situation that existed for the Kings.

Buddy Hield drove to the bucket and attempted a layup that did not drop. Marvin Bagley III attempted to tip the ball back into the basket but it wedged between the hoop and the backboard setting up a jump ball scenario.

The Kings controlled the jump ball and immediately called a timeout with 0.03 remaining on the clock. Sacramento inbounded the ball but it was tipped by a Warriors defender and the game ended with the ball loose on the floor. The Warriors won the game 117-116.

The critics will be quick to point out that Steph Curry was not available to play for the Warriors, and that is true. But in seasons past, Curry, Durant, and Thompson could have been on the bench and the Kings would have had no chance to win the game.

On Saturday night, the Warriors were missing Curry but had all of their other stars and the Kings gave the NBA Champs a run for their money. The outcome of this contest was still unknown with just 0.03 seconds to go in the game.

Hield was the man for SAC on Saturday night

buddy-at-gsw.jpg

Buddy Hield was the star of the game for the Kings versus the Kings on Saturday night. Hield led the Kings in scoring with 28 points. He shot 12-for-21 from the field and 4-for-6 from behind the arc. Hield also grabbed seven rebounds, posted three assists and had a blocked shot in the game.

MBIII Double-Double
Marvin Bagley III came off the bench to score 20 points and pull down 17 rebounds in just under 34-minutes of playing time. MBIII hit 7-of-15 shots from the field. He also converted 6-of-8 opportunities from the charity stripe. Bagley also had two assists in the contest.

Swipa the Fox
De’Aaron Fox struggled in this game and yet contributed at the same time. Fox played almost 34-minutes but scored just nine points. Fox also had nine assists in the game.

Fox shot just 3-for-14 in the game. He did not sink a 3-point shot in the game.

The Kings cannot win with Fox having just nine points and nine rebounds in a game.

Bogi struggled as well

Bogi vs GSW

Bogdan Bogdanovic put up 10 points and added two rebounds versus the top team in the NBA, “Bogi” saw his toughest minutes on the floor since coming off the disabled list to start the season.

Two important bench performances
Justin Jackson came off the bench to have a very productive game for the Kings. Jackson scored 12 points in just 20 minutes on the floor. He went 4-for-8 from the field and hit 3-of-3 from the charity stripe in his time in the game.

Harry Giles III posted 10 points in just 11 minutes of playing time. He hit 4-of-5 shots from the field. GIII also went 2-for-3 from free throw line. GSW broadcasters Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett were very impressed by Giles performance.

Up Next
The Kings will be back in action on Sunday afternoon as they will host the Utah Jazz. The Kings beat the Jazz in Salt Lake City last Wednesday night 119-110.  The Jazz lost to the Lakers on Friday night 90-83.

Lakers ruin the Kings’ Saturday night, winning game in Sacramento 101-86

LAL vs SAC

By Charlie O. Mallonee

SACRAMENTO — The Kings lost the second game of a back-to-back set to the Los Angeles Lakers 101-86 on Saturday night. The loss dropped the Kings record to 7-6 for the season. The Lakers improved to 6-6 for the year. The 15-point loss was the largest margin of defeat at home for Sacramento this season.

Charlie O has the wrap up of the game:

 

Kings head coach Dave Joerger was still proud of his team in the loss:

Team leader De’Aaron Fox was very subdued when talking with reporters after the game:

Frank Mason III quietly tried to explain his team’s performance in the game:

Marvin Bagley III had a calm and mature reaction to the loss:

Charlie O has the Lakers’ stats, which were not all that impressive:

Charlie O also has the Kings’ numbers and final thoughts:

Game notes:

  • The Lakers had a season-high 59 rebounds in the contest
  • LakeShow also had a season-high 17 offensive rebounds, which led to 17-second-chance points
  • The Kings are now 4-2 in back-to-back games
  • Willie Cauley-Stein posted his fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds
  • After the game, the Kings announced that Harry Giles III has been assigned to the Stockton Kings of the G-League and will play with Stockton on Sunday. That really is not a surprise. The Kings have used their G-League team to get rookies playing time in the past when they have not been able to get significant minutes with the big club. This most certainly is a temporary assignment.

Kings Press Row Podcast NBA Week 3: The blistering pace continues

Byelly drives
Photo: @SacramentoKings

Hosts: Jordan “Chape” Chapin and Charlie O

  • This four-game road trip could have been a killer

  • The Magic game could have been a “trap”

  • Sacramento will win more than 25 games this season

  • The Fox-Hield backcourt connection is near perfection

  • Free throw opportunities and conversions are up

  • The Kings are becoming an assist machine

  • Tough schedule ahead with Milwaukee, Toronto, Minnesota and the Lakers on the schedule over the next seven days

Kings Press Row Podcast for NBA Week 2

press row podcast

hosts Jordan “Chape” Chapin & Charlie O

  • What has happened to Buddy Hield?

  • Is De’Aaron Fox continuing to be a star for the Kings?

  • Is Willie Cauley-Stein playing for more than a big check?

  • What is Bjelica bringing to the table?

  • Is Harry Giles III ready for Prime Time?

  • Is MBIIIV living up to the hype?

  • Who is more important to the team: Kosta or Z-Bo?

  • Where does Skal fit in with the team at this point?

  • When will Bogie be ready to play?

The answers to these questions and more on this edition of the Kings Press Row Podcast.

Kings run to their first win of the season beating the Thunder 131-120 in OKC

OKC KINGS W
Photo: @OKCThunder

By Charlie O. Mallonee

The last place a 0-2 NBA team wants to play when trying to get its first win of the season is Oklahoma City. The Thunder had a 9-1 opening night record at home heading into the game versus the Kings on Sunday night. OKC also had won 74.2-percent of their home games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena going the 2018-19 home opener. That is what you call a “real uphill battle.”

The Kings parlayed a two-point first quarter lead into a 12-point halftime lead. Everyone knew the Thunder would not go quietly–especially with Superstar Russell Westbrook back for the first time this season after a knee scope.

The Kings held a 97-90 lead at the end of three quarters and then had to gut it out for the final 12 minutes.

The Kings (1-2) led by Justin Jackson, Willie Cauley-Stein and De’Aaron Fox outscored OKC 34-30 in the fourth period and won their first game of the season 131-120. Beating the Thunder (0-3) on the road is a real motivator for a young team like Sacramento.

Sacramento turned to a vet for a lift

OKC Kings Iman
Iman Shumpert was on fire Photo: @OKCThunder

Kings head coach Dave Joerger inserted NBA veteran Iman Shumpert into the starting lineup on Sunday night. Shumpert gave the team an immediate lift by scoring 16 of their 34 first quarter points. He hit 4-of-6 3-point shots in the opening 12 minutes.

Shumpert finished the game with 26 points shooting 9-for-13 from the floor including four 3-point conversions. He also added four assists, three steals, three rebounds and two blocked shots.

Fans should not expect Shumpert to produce those kinds of numbers on a regular basis but he will be good as a “spark plug” for the team during the season.

Defense
It may seem odd to talk about defense when a team gives up 120 points, but it has to be a discussion for this game. One of the key issues was not allowing long scoring runs. In the game in New Orleans, the Pelicans went on very long scoring runs which were back breakers. Sacramento did not let that happen on Sunday which helped them win the game.

The Kings also held the Thunder to 44.2-percent shooting (46-for-104) overall. In their two losses, the Jazz and Pelicans shot over 50-percent for the game. Scoring is up in the NBA dramatically as teams are pushing the pace, but defense will still be important to winning games.

Rookie watch
Marvin Bagley III came off the bench and played just over 23 minutes. MBIII scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Five of those rebounds were off the offensive glass setting up second-chance opportunities. He attacked the basket often looking like he had jumped off a mini-trampoline. The young man can “raise the roof.”

Harry Giles III played almost 17 minutes and did not foul out. That is significant because he was assigned to slow down Steven Adams, which is no easy task for a veteran, let alone a rookie. HGIII did put a crimp in Adams style and managed to score eight points to go with six rebounds.

The Fox was on the loose
After the game, coach Dave Joerger said he may have played Fox for too many minutes (41:59) in the contest. Not only did the second-year point guard push the pace but he also had to defend against Russell Westbrook for 35 minutes. Fox did look tired during his postgame interview.

Fox recorded a double-double putting up 22 points and dishing out 10 assists in the victory. He hit 7-of 12 shots from the field and converted 7-of-9 opportunities from the charity stripe.

Seven Kings scored in double-figures

OKC KINGS 5

  • Buddy Hield enjoyed his time in his adopted state of Oklahoma, scoring 17 points while shooting 6-for-11. He hit 2-of-4 3-point tries and was 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein was particularly effective down the stretch in the fourth quarter when the Thunder threatened to get back into the game. Cauley-Stein finished the game with 13 points, seven rebounds (four on offense) and two assists.
  • Justin Jackson was also very active in the final period. He finished with 11 points and five rebounds. He hit 4-of-6 shots from the field. His play in the fourth quarter helped to deliver the win.
  • Nemanja Bjelica scored 12 points spread over the first three quarters. He played just over 30 minutes in the game. Bjelica pulled down five rebounds, had four assists, made three steals and had one blocked shot. He made 5-of-6 shots from the floor including two 3-pointers.
  • Yogi Ferrell added nine points and four rebounds.

Kings team numbers were impressive as well

  • Field Goals 50-for-91 54.9-percent
  • 45.5 3-point percentage (10-for-22)
  • Free throws 21-for-28 (75.0-percent)
  • 46 rebounds (12 offensive)
  • 28 assists versus 20 turnovers that resulted in 26 OKC points
  • 11 steals
  • 7 blocked shots

Up Next
The Kings wrap up this three-game road trip on Tuesday night in Denver against a very tough Nuggets team. The Nuggets are currently 3-0 after squeaking out a 100-98 win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.

Pelicans land hard on the Kings in a 149-129 win in “the Big Easy”

Bagley vs Pels
Bagley slams it home Photo @SacramentoKings

By Charlie O. Mallonee

By the end of the evening in New Orleans, the Sacramento Kings would rather have been in Yuba City because they had no reason to celebrate on Bourbon Street. The Kings gave up 149 points to the New Orleans Pelicans in their loss on Friday night. The 149 points was a new game-high scoring record for the New Orleans franchise.

The Kings did score 129 points of their own, but it was in a losing effort. There were some highlights but a loss is a loss. This was the Kings first road loss of 2018-19, and they are now 0-2 on the season.

Joerger’s take
”I saw some really good things offensively tonight,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. ”I see, certainly, a lot of things defensively that can be learned through experience that just takes time as younger guys learn how to play against older guys. I am not fired up about giving up 149, but I do like what I see from a lot of our guys.”

Maybe this reporter is just a little impatient, but he has heard the “I saw some really good things” line many times over the last two years. Yes, this is a completely reworked roster with some very young players, but the “I’m happy with some of what I saw from my team tonight” line is going to wear thin very quickly. After 10 games if the team is playing poorly, the coach is going to have to speak honestly about the way his team is playing. The time to “kick butt and take names” is coming sooner and not later for Sacramento.

Coming out party for MBIIIV
The Kings top draft pick saw some major playing time on Friday versus the Pelicans. Bagley played 32-plus minutes and matched up well against “the Brow” – Anthony Davis. MBIIIV put up 19 points hitting 7-of-10 from the field. He converted 5-of-6 opportunities from the free throw line. Bagley grabbed eight rebounds, had three assists and made three steals.

Not a bad second game as a professional for a 19-year old having to go up against Anthony Davis.

WCS comes up “Big” again
Willie Cauley-Stein was the Kings leading scorer for the second consecutive game with 20 points in just over 25 minutes of playing time. He shot an impressive 9-for-14 from the floor. The big man also grabbed seven rebounds.

Swipa the Fox and Buddy Buckets showed up as well
De’Aaron Fox shot 6-for-12 from the floor and scored 18 points for the Kings. He also dished out six assists and pulled down seven rebounds. The Fox hit 6-of-7 chances from the free throw line.

Buddy Hield recorded 17 points, hitting 7-of-11 shots from the field. Hield put in 3-of-4 tries from behind the 3-point line. He also added three assists.

Mr. Mason had a big game coming off the bench

Mason vs Pels
Frank Mason works against the Pelicans Photo: @SacramentoKings

Frank Mason III played just over 21-minutes and scored 18 points. Mason shot 7-for-13 from the floor and converted 3-of-4 from the free throw line. He also handed out six assists.

What about Harry Giles III?
Harry had a tough game on Friday night. He committed six fouls in just over 18 minutes on the floor. Giles scored seven points and added four rebounds. He shot just 3-for-11 for the game. Rookies sometimes struggle.

Team stats
The Kings shot 52.1-percent (50/96) for the game. The problem was the Pelicans shot 58.9-percent (56/95) in the contest.

Sacramento hit 10-of-25 (40-percent) from 3-point land. New Orleans buried 16-of-31 tries from behind the long-distance line.

The Pelicans outrebounded the Kings 52 to 39.

The need for defense
The practice on Saturday will be all about defense. The Kings have proved they can score. Now, they need to figure out how to stop their opponents from scoring at will.

Up next
The Kings will return to action on Sunday on the road in Oklahoma City versus the Thunder at 4:00 pm PT. The quest for their first victory of 2018-19 does not get any easier having to face a team a talented as the Thunder on the road.

Kings Press Row Podcast: Game 1 Postgame Breakdown Edition

SAC 5 vs jazz

hosts: Jordan “Chape” Chapin & Charlie O

  • What was the most impressive thing of the night in the Kings first game of the season?

  • The starting five for SAC may have been a surprise

  • Was Bjelica the surprise of the night?

  • Willie Cauley-Stein stepped up to show he can be what the Kings want him to be

  • De’Aaron Fox showed that he can play at high speed on a regular basis

  • Buddy Hield was strong on offense and had bright spots on defense

  • The key rookies Bagley and Giles saw only limited minutes – will that be the regular routine?

  • Did the Kings show some defensive strength even in giving up 123 points?

  • The answers to these questions and many more in less than 20 minutes on the Kings Press Row Podcast