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What we learned as Kings topple Warriors at final buzzer

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SACRAMENTO -- In front of a sea of cardboard cutouts, the Kings played their first home game of the preseason Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors. They held their own for most of the night, but needed a miracle at the buzzer to come away with the win.

Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox led the way for the starters, but it was Kyle Guy who came up huge in the clutch for Sacramento. Trailing in the final seconds, Guy got his man in the air and then drilled a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Kings a 114-113 win.

Stephen Curry looked like he was in midseason form, scoring 29 points in 28 minutes and Sacramento-native Marquese Chriss chipped in 17 points off the Warriors’ bench.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings made it two victories in a row and improved to 2-1 in preseason action.

Welcome back

Luke Walton told the media over the weekend that reinforcements were on their way. They arrived in force Tuesday evening. 

Marvin Bagley returned to action after clearing the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols. It wasn’t a perfect showing from the former No. 2 overall pick, but it was a nice start. 

He knocked down a pair of buckets from the left baseline in the first quarter and finished the night with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting to go with four rebounds. As part of his recovery plan, Bagley played a total of 16 minutes.

 

Trying something new

Richaun Holmes worked with assistant coach Rico Hines on his passing skills all offseason long with the understanding that he might run some high-post actions. With Bagley back in the starting lineup, Holmes became the hub at the top of the key. 

Holmes made a few nice passes, but overall, it was a mess. The 6-foot-10 big man finished with three assists, but on the downside, he turned the ball over six times, including five giveaways in the first half. 

Luke Walton is going to have to get creative if he hopes to use Holmes and Bagley together. The pair looked out of sync and in each other's way when they were on the court. It should be noted that Bagley has yet to participate in a single 5-on-5 practice, so it’s possible they just need more time.

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Swat

Walton started a pair of bigs in Bagley and Holmes, but he now has the ability to get even larger off the bench.

In his first action of the preseason, shot-blocking specialist Hassan Whiteside made himself comfortable in the paint. The 7-footer played goalie, hit the glass and even took off for a coast-to-coast dunk.

This is Whiteside’s second tour of duty in Sacramento and the plan is for him to come off the bench and provide a defensive spark. He finished the night with 11 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in 15 minutes. Not bad for a player who missed most of preseason with a calf injury.