James Ham

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Kings' preseason loss to Warriors

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Kings' preseason loss to Warriors

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The Sacramento Kings traveled the 90 minutes down highway 80 to face off with the Championship Golden State Warriors Friday evening. Missing three of their rotational guards, the Kings fought hard, but couldn’t stay with their closest geographical rivals late, falling to the Warriors by a final of 117-106. With the loss, Sacramento finished the preseason 1-5.

1- David Stockton, AAAA player. The Warriors couldn’t figure out who the speedy point guard was running circles around them. No, it wasn’t Frank Mason, it was former Gonzaga star and son of NBA legend John Stockton, David Stockton. Sacramento inked the undersized guard midweek and he took advantage of his opportunity. Stockton lit the Warriors up for 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting and eight assists in 28 minutes off the Kings’ bench.

2- Welcome to the competition Malachi Richardson. The second-year wing out of Syracuse has been the forgotten man in Sacramento. Against the Warriors, he came out confident and firing from all over the floor. Richardson finished the evening with 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting and showed some defensive prowess against Klay Thompson.

3- Who is this Papagiannis guy? After looking completely uncomfortable in limited playing time, Papagiannis looked like someone fed him a Red Bull in pregame. The 7-footer was all over the floor, even banking in a 3-pointer in the first half. He finished the night with 13 points, seven rebounds and a block in 23 minutes of action. He’s showing signs of improvement as the preseason comes to a close.

4- An aggressive Skal Labissiere is a good Skal Labissiere. Starting in place of Zach Randolph, the second-year big looked comfortable from the opening tip. If this is the Labissiere that shows up in the regular season, the Kings are going to have quite a few interesting nights. Labissiere posted nine points, eight rebounds and four assists as the Kings kept the Warriors within striking distance for much of the game.

5- There is no quit in Frank Mason. The season is just a few days away and Mason continues to make his case for a spot in the rotation. With George Hill’s status in question, Mason has proven that he is ready for game action. Sacramento wanted Mason bad during draft season and now fans are seeing why. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and there hasn’t been a moment too big.

Kings will be shorthanded in exhibition finale vs Warriors

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USATI

Kings will be shorthanded in exhibition finale vs Warriors

The goal of preseason is to escape without injury. Unfortunately, the Sacramento Kings have failed to achieve that goal.

With the regular season just five days away, Sacramento faces uncertainty with three of its rotational players. Rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox will miss his second straight preseason contest Friday night with a lower back bruise.

The 19-year-old participated in practice on Wednesday and appears to be on pace to return for Wednesday’s home opener against the Houston Rockets. The prognosis isn’t nearly as clear for guards George Hill and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Hill left the Kings 104-87 loss to the Clippers on Thursday evening with a groin issue. After further evaluation, the veteran point guard has been diagnosed with a right groin strain. Hill struggled with the same injury last season, missing six games over a two week period during late March and early April.  

Sacramento’s medical staff has diagnosed Bogdanovic with a right ankle sprain. The 25-year-old rookie injured his ankle on the last play of the third quarter on Thursday night when he came down on the foot of teammate Kosta Koufos while trying to defend a last second shot.

Fox, Hill and Bogdanovic are all listed as day-to-day.

Kings' Hill and Bogdanovic leave preseason game early

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AP

Kings' Hill and Bogdanovic leave preseason game early

The Sacramento Kings came into Thursday night’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Clippers with a mild injury report that included a lower back bruise for De’Aaron Fox and a long-term rehab assignment for Harry Giles. They came out of the game with a depleted roster.

Veteran point guard George Hill tweaked his right groin in the first half and played just nine minutes for Sacramento. There is no word further word on the injury, but Hill struggled with groin and toe ailments last season in Utah, playing just 49 games for the Jazz.

Adding to the injury woes, rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic stepped on Kosta Koufos’ foot as time expired in the third quarter and did not return. The initial diagnosis from the team’s medical staff is a sprained right ankle.

The Kings have depth at both positions, but with opening night just a week away, there is a possibility they will start the season short-handed.