July 3, 2018, 1:15 am
The Kings got off to a solid start at the California Classic in Sacramento, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 98-93 on Monday.
The Kings got off to a sloppy start offensively, but it didn’t take long for the youngsters to get into the swing of things and make some big plays. No. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley scored seven quick points out of the gate, including a 3-pointer and this monstrous throwdown:
OH MY MARVIN BAGLEY 😤 pic.twitter.com/Qjj5ixf0iP
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 3, 2018
Sacramento came back down to earth after that, as the sloppy play returned and the Lakers built a 24-18 lead. Finding a rhythm on offense can take time, especially in summer league, and that was certainly the case with the Kings in the first quarter.
The Lakers built a 12-point lead early in the second quarter, but the Kings’ offense managed to settle down and make some plays. Defensively they made some adjustments, too, led by former West Virginia product Daxter Miles Jr., who played great defense on Josh Hart.
The Kings cut the deficit to 54-48 at halftime, and it would have been closer had Hart not hit a buzzer-beating three. Bagley had nine points to lead the Kings, while Harry Giles had seven. Giles displayed some impressive defensive tendencies, both in the post and on the perimeter. His quick feet and long arms allows him to keep smaller players in front of him and that’ll be huge if it translates to the NBA.
De’Aaron Fox took over on both ends in the third quarter. He was making shots all over the floor and was playing some pesky defense on the other end. His lateral quickness is impressive and it’ll be a real asset come next season.
Fox had 15 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals through three quarters, and helped the Kings tie it up at 67 heading into the fourth.
After a shaky first half, Sacramento settled into the game nicely and looked solid in the second half. They had the superior talent in this game and they were able to take over accordingly. Second-year players Fox and Frank Mason got better as the game went on, and Bagley and Giles had good first outings, too. It wasn’t a comfortable victory by any stretch, but a summer league win will be satisfying for the team regardless.
Fox finished with 23 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals on 9-of-15 shooting for Sacramento. As was noted when the California Classic roster was announced, Fox will not play in Las Vegas, so he’ll likely be playing heavy minutes over the next few days.
Bagley totaled 18 points, six rebounds and three blocks on 6-of-11 shooting (1-of-2 3PT). His biggest knock coming out of college was his defense but he did an admirable job tonight. Blocked shots don’t always signify a good defensive player but he moved his feet well and showed some upside there. Bagley got knocked around when backing down players on offense and that’s slightly concerning, but we’ll take everything as a grain of salt at this stage.
Giles posted 13 points, three rebounds, one steal and one block in 25 minutes of work. He shot 6-of-10 from the field and hit a 3-pointer, too. He played with energy on both ends and displayed a smooth looking jumper. It’ll be interesting to see how much he actually plays out on the perimeter once the regular season rolls around, but having that in his arsenal would only lead to good things.
Mason had a great second half to finish with 16 points, two rebounds, nine assists and two steals. He shot 4-of-7 overall and 2-of-3 from deep. Mason’s two 3-pointers both came in the fourth quarter and they were contested looks over much bigger players. They were shots you don’t ideally want him to take, but he made them so you can’t complain too much there. Mason’s nine assists were a game-high, and he turned the ball over just twice.
Finally, Justin Jackson didn’t have a promising outing for the Kings. He played 32 minutes and scored just five points on 2-of-6 shooting. With a gaping hole at small forward, playing time is up for grabs and nothing is guaranteed for Jackson. There’s nothing stopping the team from bringing in a guy to start at small forward, and they might just do so if Jackson can’t find some consistency.
Sacramento will be back in action tomorrow night against the Golden State Warriors at 8 pm PST.
April 20, 2019, 8:25 pmNikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic double-doubled in Saturday's Game 4 win with 29 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and one 3-pointer in 39 minutes.
Jokic was looking for his shot the whole night and led the charge for the Nuggets as they steal one in San Antonio before heading back to the Mile High City. His aggressiveness tonight opened up the floor for both Jamal Murray and Torrey Craig who took advantage of the open looks they received in tonight's matchup. A locked-on Jokic is just what Denver needs if they're going to close out the Spurs in their first-round matchup.
April 20, 2019, 8:18 pmGary Harris - G - Denver Nuggets
Gary Harris only scored eight points on 2-of-9 shooting with six boards, two assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in Saturday's win over the Spurs.
The inefficient night can be forgiven in tonight's matchup but the Nuggets need Harris to show up whenever Jamal Murray is struggling to find his groove. It's been hard for him to find consistency in his game this year because of the myriad of injuries that he succumbed to this whole season.
April 20, 2019, 8:12 pmJamal Murray - G - Denver Nuggets
Jamal Murray played 31 minutes in Saturday's Game 4 win, scoring 24 points with two rebounds and three 3-pointers.
Murray decided to show up in Game 4 to help the Nuggets tie the series at 2-2 before heading back to Denver. The inconsistency is to be expected since he's still young but tonight, he was able to find his shot over Derrick White, who has been playing out of his mind in this series as well. The Blue Arrow needs to show up every night in order for the Nuggets to knock off the Spurs in their first round matchup.
April 20, 2019, 8:08 pmTorrey Craig - F - Denver Nuggets
Torrey Craig started in Saturday's win over the Spurs and tallied 18 points with eight rebounds, two steals, one block and five 3-pointers.
Craig made sure that Coach Mike Malone didn't make a mistake in putting him in the starting lineup by rewarding him with an efficient and all-around stat line in tonight's game. He was also 6-of-9 in the 37 minutes that he played in and was a key contributor in tonight's win over the Spurs.
April 20, 2019, 8:06 pmPaul Millsap - F - Denver Nuggets
Paul Millsap only scored two points on 1-of-7 shooting with four boards, one steal and one block in Saturday's win over the Spurs.
Millsap struggled in tonight's game but was still a positive difference for the Nuggets who needed to win tonight's game or risk being down 3-1 in this series. Handling LaMarcus Aldrige all night is a tough task for anyone so kudos to Millsap for staying on his hip the whole time he was on the court.
April 20, 2019, 8:03 pmDeMar DeRozan - G - San Antonio Spurs
DeMar DeRozan was ejected in the fourth quarter after arguing for a charge called on him.
DeRozan wasn't able to keep his cool in this one and got ejected after the referee didn't appreciate his gesture of throwing the ball in discontent. DeRozan finished the night with 19 points, five rebounds, five assists in 34 minutes of action before leaving the court.
Source: Ohm Youngmisuk
April 20, 2019, 7:16 pmBlake Griffin - F - Detroit Pistons
Blake Griffin (left knee soreness) will play in Game 3 on Saturday.
Griffin missed the first two games of the series and the Pistons got worked in both games. It's not too surprising that Griffin is active for the team's first home playoff game since 2015-16.
Source: Keith Langlois on Twitter
April 20, 2019, 6:54 pmRodions Kurucs - F - Brooklyn Nets
Rodions Kurucs did not play in Saturday's Game 4 loss to the Sixers.
The second round rookie started the first three games of the series but was a DNP-CD in this one. We'll see if he can get into Game 5 – or any games after if needed – but there's a chance his season is over. If it's over, it was an impressive first season for the second rounder and the Nets may have a real rotation piece going forward.
April 20, 2019, 6:50 pmDeMarre Carroll - F - Brooklyn Nets
DeMarre Carroll played 21 minutes after being removed from the starting lineup in Saturday's loss.
Carroll scored two points and missed all six of his shots. He did grab seven boards, including three on the offensive end. With Caris LeVert and Jared Dudley both contributing, Carroll will likely remain on the bench as a small-ball option.
April 20, 2019, 6:47 pmJJ Redick - G - Philadelphia Sixers
J.J. Redick scored nine points on 3-for-11 shooting in Saturday's Game 4 win.
Redick came back down from a big Game 3 performance. He did hit a clutch three towards the end of the game to give the Sixers a one-point lead and while it wasn't the difference maker, it was incredibly clutch. He'll need to play well consistently in round two – assuming they get there – if the Sixers want a chance at the Conference Finals.