The Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers faced off early Friday morning for the first of two preseason games in Mumbai, India. The historic event marked the first official NBA game played live in India, a country with a population of just over 1.35 billion.
It was an entertaining battle between two up-and-coming teams that spilled into overtime. After leading by as many as 21 points early in the game, the Kings struggled to close out the game in the fourth and had to play catch up in the extra frame.
Despite a spirited effort, the Kings couldn’t get the big stop when they needed it, and they fell 132-131.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings open their 2019-20 preseason schedule with a loss.
They are who we thought they were
Running. Gunning. Gunning. Running. The Kings put on an offensive show, especially in the first half when they dropped 72 points on the Pacers. They ran the floor, found the open man and buried shots from the outside.
De’Aaron Fox set the tempo early, breaking down Indiana’s defense and finding his shooters for open looks. Buddy Hield launched from everywhere on the court, Harrison Barnes came up with the big shots and Bogdan Bogdanovic came off the bench to provide the spark
. This is what Kings basketball is going to look like this season. Win or lose, it should be a fun brand of basketball to watch.
Mr. Holmes, I presume
In case you didn’t know his name before, Richaun Holmes put on a show in his first game in a Sacramento Kings uniform.
The 25-year-old center out of Bowling Green loves to play in the pick-and-roll and he plays with intensity and energy. Known for his ability to hammer the ball down in the two-man game, Holmes showed off his defensive skills as well. He stood his ground against Domantas Sabonis, rotated to cut off the baseline and made a couple of nice recovery shot blocks.
Sherblock Holmes pic.twitter.com/aPRVrETwyo— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) October 4, 2019
On the offensive end, the former Sun scored 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting in 19 minutes to go with four rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Holmes is in a competition with Harry Giles for minutes off the bench at the five. Giles missed the trip to India with knee soreness.
Let it fly
Head coach Luke Walton has to love the early showing of his new club. Not only did they push the tempo and get up and down the floor, but they launched and hit from the perimeter all game long.
The Kings knocked down 15-for-36 from behind the arc, outscoring the Pacers 45-30 from distance.
Walton has made it clear that he wants more 3-pointers this season. He set the mark of 35 attempts per game earlier in the week.
His team fell slightly short of the goal in regulation, but managed to get there in OT. Hield led the way with four makes and Bogdanovic added three, but it was a team effort. Eight different Kings knocked down a triple, including Yogi Ferrell who buried a half-court shot at the buzzer to end the first half.
*deep breath*— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) October 4, 2019