Kings

Kings' summer league leaders: Skal shines in Las Vegas

skal-smile.jpg

Kings' summer league leaders: Skal shines in Las Vegas

The Kings came out of Las Vegas without a single win in summer league this year. They did, however, see solid numbers from 20-year-old rookie Skal Labissiere. 

Sacramento selected Labissiere with the No. 28 pick in the NBA Draft -- their third selection in the first round. And, he went on to lead the Kings in points, rebounds and blocks per game in Vegas. 

Labissiere lamented mental toughness as one of his best aspects he brings to the table when introduced by the Kings on June 27. 

"Throughout my career at Kentucky that's what I learned the most," Labissiere explained. "Learning how to fight through tough times, ya know, I think that's the biggest thing for me." 

The rookie out of Haiti believes right now he's most efficient at facing the basket and will only get better as his game matures.

"I can shoot a basketball, I can put the ball on the floor. As I get stronger and bigger, I'll get better down low because I have a post game, too." 

Here's who led the Kings in summer league this year:

Points per game: Skal Labissiere (11.0)

Assists per game: Isaiah Cousins (3.5)

Rebounds per game: Labissiere (5.8)

Blocks per game: Labissiere, Jarrod Uthoff (1.0)

Steals per game: Retin Obasohan (2.0)

Field goal percentage: Josh Hagins, Adam Woodbury (50 percent)

3-point percentage: Uthoff (100 percent)

Minutes per game: Cousins, Obasohan (25.0)

Kings 'got smoked' in opener of season-defining six-game road trip

Kings 'got smoked' in opener of season-defining six-game road trip

There’s an issue with winning. It doesn’t take long before the expectations begin to change.

The Sacramento Kings were estimated to win around 25 games this season. They came into Thursday evening at 23-21, completely blowing away an prediction around the league.

And then they laid an egg in the first game of their season-long six-game road trip.

After being handled by the Kings at Golden 1 Center over the weekend, the Hornets got their revenge Thursday day night at the Spectrum Center, dropping Sacramento by a final of 114-95.

“We’ve got to play better, but it’s a lot of young guys at the same time,” coach Dave Joerger told cameras following the loss. “It’s going to take a while to gel and find a rhythm, especially on the road it’s not easy for young guys.”

Joerger and his team better get used to playing away from Golden 1 Center. They play five more away from home over the next week and a half. It’s a stretch that very well could decide their fate of their season.

After yielding a 3-pointer to open the scoring, the Kings rattled off a 15-0 run to take a big lead early. Joerger went to his second unit early and they didn’t respond well in their first look.

At the end of the first, the Kings held a 25-20 advantage and then the wheels fell of the bus.

Charlotte found a way to disrupt the Kings offensive flow in the second quarter and ran the visiting team off the court.

“I think right at the end of the second, they went on their run, it’s a game of runs,” rookie Marvin Bagley told reporters in the locker room. “We tried to come back and go on ours, but they continued to make shots. We just had to find some way to win, but it just didn’t go our way tonight.”

Charlotte dropped a 43-point quarter on the Kings to take a 63-50 advantage to the intermission. Sacramento cut the Hornets' lead down to six in the late third, but the home team finished the quarter out with another run to take a double-digit lead to the fourth.

Sacramento pulled within nine in the early fourth, but then the Hornets took control. The Kings over dribbled, turned the ball over 18 times, missed their free throws and played lackadaisical defense in the loss.

Buddy Hield led the way with 24 points on 6-of-11 from behind the arc, but Joerger was in no mood to break down his performance following the loss.

“We just got smoked, I do not want to talk about any individual’s shooting,” Joerger told media members.

It sounds like Joerger’s expectations are shifting as well. He knows the importance of the road trip and how it can impact the remainder of the season. Getting off to a start like this was not what the Kings’ coach hoped for.

The Kings make their way to Detroit for leg two of their journey. Like the Hornets, this is the second time in a week that these two teams will do battle.

Blake Griffin missed the previous matchup between the two teams, but is expected to play. The Pistons will also being playing on the second night of a back-to-back after hosting the Miami Heat the night before.

After a loss in Charlotte, the Kings need every advantage they can get to avoid an 0-2 start to the trip.

Kings takeaways: What we learned from 114-95 loss to Hornets

Kings takeaways: What we learned from 114-95 loss to Hornets

BOX SCORE

No flow, no go. The Sacramento Kings started out hot and then fizzled on the road in Charlotte. The Hornets found a way to muck up the Kings’ offensive flow and ground the scoring to a halt.

Kemba Walker led the way for Charlotte, but the Hornets received contributions up and down the lineup to come away with the 114-95 win.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings dropped their first game of their season-long six game road trip to fall to 23-22 on the season.

Second Quarter Collapse

In the first quarter, the Kings were active defensively and moved the ball all over the court. They started out playing the same in quarter number two, but then they lost their way.

They stopped deflections and started over dribbling. After leading 25-20 after the first 12 minutes, Sacramento was outscored 43-25 in the second quarter to trail 63-50 at the half.

The Kings turned the ball over and were a step slow in their rotations and the Hornets made them pay.

Charlotte set the tone of the game in the second quarter and never looked back. The Kings made a few runs, but the Hornets seemed to have an answer every time.

Bench Battle

Sacramento’s bench has impressed of late, but they couldn’t keep up against the Hornets. 

Bogdan Bogdanovic started out a perfect 5-of-5 and finished with 17 points. Marvin Bagley added 15 points and eight rebounds, but it wasn’t close to enough.

Miles Bridges and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 15 each to pace the Hornets second unit. Veteran Tony Parker, who sat out the last matchup between these two teams, added 14 points as Charlotte’s bench outscored Sacramento’s 60-44 on the night.

Bombing Buddy

Buddy Hield continues to put up big numbers for Sacramento. The third-year guard shot 6-of-11 from behind the arc and 9-for-18 from the field to finish the night with a team-high 24 points.