The Kings looked every bit the part of a team in transition during their first preseason game Friday night at the Moda Center. They pushed the pace, threw up a ton of 3-pointers and made plenty of mistakes.
With just three days of practice under their belt, the Portland Trail Blazers were the more composed team and they came away with a 127-102 victory over the Kings.
Carmelo Anthony torched Sacramento for 21 points in 23 minutes and Harry Giles dropped in a big 18-point, 14-rebound double-double against his former team.
Buddy Hield led the way for Sacramento, but he was one of just three players to score in double-figures for the Kings.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings looked like a team still learning their play sets and fell to 0-1 on the preseason.
Make it rain
Coach Luke Walton made a goal last year of 35 3-point attempts. That number is going up this season.
In a stunning display, the Kings hoisted 30 3-balls in the first 24 minutes of play. They couldn’t keep up the pace in the second half, but Sacramento still managed to shoot 16-for-50 from long range, which if in the regular season, would have fallen just short of the franchise record of 51 3-point attempts.
Walton wants his club to push the tempo and everyone has the green light. They need to hit more than 32 percent.
Hot and Cold
Buddy Hield came out red hot and launched away at will. His starting backcourt mate didn’t fare as well.
Hield finished the night with a team-high 23 points on 8-for-17 shooting, including 5-of-11 from behind the arc. He looks like he’s added 10 pounds of muscle and is in great shape coming into the season.
De’Aaron Fox looked strong as well, but his shot was way off. Fox knocked down just 1-of-7 from 3-point range on his way to 10 points. He handed out six assists, but also turned the ball over four times in 26 minutes,
The Kings need this tandem to play well if they have any chance of moving up the standings this season.
Tyrese Haliburton made his Kings debut and it came with mixed reviews. He looked timid with his shot and picked up his dribble without anywhere to go on more than one occasion.
The 20-year-old finished with just five points, three rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals in 20 minutes of action.
You could see the wheels turning in Haliburton’s head for much of the night, which is expected for the Kings’ top pick.