The build up to De’Aaron Fox vs. Lonzo Ball fell flat Sunday when the Lakers rookie sat out game three of the Kings’ preseason schedule with an ankle issue. Despite the rookie’s absence, the game tipped off as scheduled. Los Angeles jumped all over Sacramento early, as the Kings missed one shot after another. The Kings found a way to slow the Lakers attack, but couldn’t get over the hump down the stretch, falling 75-69 to drop to 1-2 on the preseason.
1- Dave Joerger shook up his starting lineup, inserting Bogdan Bogdanovic and Willie Cauley-Stein to go with veterans George Hill, Garrett Temple and Zach Randolph. The group looked like they had never met, going over four minutes before hitting their first bucket. The spacing was bad, the movement was bad and most of their shots came as the 24 second shot clock was sounding. It’s going to be a process as the Kings try to mix and match rotations.
2- Zach Randolph is the Kings offense. Okay, maybe not, but he thinks he is. The 36-year-old is fending off father time, one half-hook at a time. He can also shoot the 3-ball, kill you from the mid-range and rebound. You’ll take 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting and six rebounds from a player entering his 17th NBA season.
3- Have we seen the 10-man rotation? Joerger turned to a tight group in the third game of preseason. Hill and Fox shared the minutes at the point. Bogdanovic and Hield saw the majority of the time at the two. Garrett Temple started at the three and Vince Carter came off the bench. Z-Bo and Skal Labissiere ate up the minutes and the four and Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos played the five. No Justin Jackson, Malachi Richardson or Frank Mason III.
4- Vince Carter still has it. Vincanity isn’t the athlete he used to be, but he knows how to play the game and he knows when his team needs a hoop. The veteran wing dropped nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range in 20 minutes of action. It doesn’t sound like much, but his presence might result in four or five additional wins on the season.
5- De’Aaron Fox is going to be fun. The rookie played just nine minutes before being shut down with a bruised back, but he still managed to make the highlight reel. Fox used his crazy speed late in the second quarter to slice right through the Lakers defense and finish over two players, including one trying to block the shot through the rim.
For the third time in a month, the NBA admitted the Kings were victims of an incorrect call late in a loss.
With 1:10 remaining in overtime and the Kings and Spurs tied 102-102 on Friday night, San Antonio guard DeMar DeRozan started to drive into the lane. According to the NBA's Last Two Minute Report, which was released Saturday, DeRozen should be been called for a travel when he came to a stop.
Upon further review, it appears DeRozen's feet slide when he lands after a jump-stop. No call was made and 13 seconds later, Patty Mills was fouled on a missed 3-point attempt.
"DeRozan (SAS) gathers the ball and comes to a stop on two feet, and then slides both feet forward prior to releasing the pass," the league wrote.
Mills only made one of three free throws, but in reality, he never should have gotten three free throws. The Kings should have been granted possession with the game tied and 70 seconds left on the clock.
Instead, San Antonio took a one-point lead and went on to win 105-104.
On Nov. 26, the NBA announced that refs missed a traveling call on Boston's Marcus Smart, who would hit the game-winning shot.
Just 10 days before that, the NBA admitted that refs missed a foul call on LeBron James late in the Kings' 99-97 loss to the Lakers.
[RELATED: Marvin Bagley upgraded to questionable]
At a certain point, the NBA needs to hold its refs accountable, right? How many calls do they have to blow before someone is disciplined?
But if the refs are going to continue to miss calls, maybe one or two can go the Kings' way.
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The Kings will get second-year big man Marvin Bagley soon.
Sacramento just isn't sure exactly when.
But Bagley, who was cleared for contact earlier in the week, was upgraded to questionable Saturday, according to The Sacramento Bee.
The Kings face MVP candidate Luka Doncic and the Mavericks in Dallas on Sunday.
After practice on Saturday, Bagley told The Athletic's Jason Jones that he doesn't feel the need to play against Doncic, the player he was drafted before and will forever be compared to.
"I’m going in the right direction, I’m almost there," Bagley told Jones. "It’s around the corner for me, I think it’s around the corner. It’s hard to say when, but I’ll be back soon."
Bagley suffered a fractured right thumb in the Kings' season-opening loss to the Suns and has missed 20 games because of the injury.
[RELATED: Hield struggles, Holmes impresses vs. Spurs]
The Kings are in desperate need of Bagley's scoring. After winning seven of 10 games to bring their record to 7-8, the Kings have lost five of their last six and currently sit at 8-13.
The imminent return of Bagley and the looming return of De'Aaron Fox will be a welcome sight for the Kings.