Instant Analysis: De'Aaron Fox shines in Kings' opening loss to Rockets
Kings drop opener
SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings lack experience and the NBA gods handed them a masters level course for opening night. Coming off a huge win at Oracle Arena the night before, the Houston Rockets looked winded as a young Kings team kept attacking. In the end, the Rockets were too much, improving to 2-0 on the season with a 105-100 win over the Kings at Golden 1 Center.
With Eric Gordon and James Harden drawing all the attention, big man Clint Capella got loose in the post for 22 points and 17 rebounds. Gordon burned Sacramento for 25 points and Harden added 27 and nine assists to pace the Rockets attack.
Fox puts on show in debut
Welcome to the NBA De’Aaron Fox. The Kings were all in on Fox from the beginning of draft season and on Wednesday night, fans got to see why. Speedy doesn’t quite capture what Fox can do on the court. The rookie posted 14 points on 7-for-15 shooting and added five assists and four rebounds in his debut.
Coach Dave Joerger played Fox alongside starter George Hill for long stretches and the duo did a nice job of pushing the tempo. In his first official game in a Kings uniform, Hill went for 16 points and three assists.
Hield keeps Kings in the game
With the Rockets attempting to pull away in the third quarter, Buddy Hield attacked the Rockets’ James Harden. The second-year guard scored eight of his 19 points in the period and helped keep the Kings in the ballgame.
Hield was an offensive weapon, but veteran Garrett Temple was all over the Rockets guards on the defensive end. Temple came away with four steals and deflected plenty of other passes, but he struggled with his shot.
Trill leads Kings with 21 points
Zach Randolph sat out the opener and that left the door open for the Thin Towers. Willie Cauley-Stein went off for 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. He was active, especially in the second half, where he did most of his damage.
Skal Labissiere added 12 points and 10 rebounds while hanging with the Rockets perimeter shooting bigs. The Kings young post players both came away with double-doubles in a wildly entertaining 48 minutes of basketball.
A season ago, the Rockets lit the Kings up for 75 made 3-pointers on 180 attempts over four games. Sacramento stayed with the Rockets on the perimeter, holding them to just 12-for-45 from deep.