Kings

Three takeaways from Kings' 122-94 preseason loss vs. Warriors

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AP

Three takeaways from Kings' 122-94 preseason loss vs. Warriors

Shotless in Seattle. The Kings couldn’t find the basket Friday evening at Key Arena, shooting just 34.7 percent from the field in an embarrassing loss on the road. In Seattle’s first glimpse of NBA hoops in a decade, it was all Warriors, as the champs thumped the Kings by a final of 122-94.

Former Seattle SuperSonic Kevin Durant took center court wearing a Shawn Kemp jersey in pregame. He was the man everyone came to see, but a former Washington State star, Klay Thompson, stole the show with 30 points in 22 minutes of action.

With Sacramento going young, there will be nights like this once the regular season starts. Here are three quick takeaways from the game. 

Fight the good fight

All the cards were stacked against the Kings Friday night. They weren’t the main attraction and, for stretches, they looked like more like the Washington Generals than an NBA team. The Warriors can do that to a club. 

The Kings looked tired after playing in Los Angeles on Thursday. They looked overwhelmed playing in a foreign environment. They looked outmatched by a team of the Warriors' caliber. You get a few games like this throughout the season, but it can’t become the norm. 

Don’t stop playing

No matter how bad the score got, a couple of Kings players continued to battle. Harry Giles struggled with his shot early, but still managed to score 17 points and grab six rebounds in 20 minutes.

Frank Mason has quietly had a very strong first three games of preseason. In a battle for minutes, Mason is averaging 11 points, five assists and turned the ball over just twice in 59 minutes. He’s shooting 80 percent from the field and 60 percent from behind the arc. 

Wenyen Gabriel has a motor. He didn’t hit a shot, but the rookie two-way player from Kentucky played defense and hustled the glass for eight rebounds and added a block in 10 minutes of action. He’s taken advantage of every minute he’s played so far this preseason.  

Justin Jackson is struggling

After starting and going scoreless in the first two preseason games, Jackson finally got a shot to fall in the late second quarter. 

On the defensive side, Jackson struggled as well. Durant is as tough a cover as they come. Judging Jackson on his ability to stay in front of him is unfair, but if he is going to see minutes, he has to do more.

Despite making a couple of baskets, the second-year forward posted a minus-37 for the game. Jackson finished the night with eight points, zero rebounds and zero assists in 27 minutes. He has yet to fill up the stat sheet, but Dave Joerger has very few options at the position, especially with Bogdan Bogdanovic, Nemanja Bjelica, and Iman Shumpert on the shelf.

Kings struggle in second half, embarrassed on the road by Brooklyn Nets

Kings struggle in second half, embarrassed on the road by Brooklyn Nets

Sluggish. Slow to react. Embarrassed.

Some losses you can’t explain. After a bumpy start, the Kings looked solid through the first half against the Brooklyn Nets. And then the wheels completely fell off the bus in a 123-95 loss.

“The second quarter, we were much better defensively,” coach Dave Joerger told reporters in Brooklyn. “We just didn’t come out with that same intensity in the second half.”

Sacramento was outscored 35-28 in the third quarter, and then they didn’t even show up in the fourth. The Kings only scored nine points in the fourth quarter, while the Nets added another 30. 

The final outcome was a completely forgettable shellacking.

This happens on occasion in the NBA. One team loses their energy, and the other goes for the jugular.

Brooklyn is a quality opponent. They play extremely hard for coach Kenny Atkinson, and they have no issues scoring at an extremely high clip.

After starting the season 8-18, the Nets are 17-5 and in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff chase.

Sacramento is in the midst of a long road trip. They were coming off of an extremely emotional win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. They looked both mentally and physically exhausted in the second half, and the Nets took advantage.

During the final 24 minutes, the Kings shot just 15-of-47 (31.9 percent) from the field and 2-of-8 (25 percent) from behind the 3-point line. After turning the ball over four times in the first half, Sacramento gave it away 10 times after the intermission.

Iman Shumpert shot 1-of-10 from the field overall. De'Aaron Fox finished 4-for-14 and Buddy Hield scored just 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Kings were a mess in the second half. They were outrebounded 26-18 after the break, and 56-37 overall. They allowed the Nets to shoot 61.9 percent in the final two quarters, including 8-for-17 from behind the arc.

D’Angelo Russell did plenty of damage, scoring 18 of his game-high 31 in the second half. But, it was a team effort for Brooklyn. 

The Kings don’t have long to think about the loss. Following the game, they hopped a plane for Toronto, where they’ll face a tough Raptors team Tuesday evening of the second night of a back-to-back.  

They’ll need a much better effort, of Toronto will hand them another lopsided loss.

Kings takeaways: What we learned from 123-94 loss to Nets on MLK Day

Kings takeaways: What we learned from 123-94 loss to Nets on MLK Day

BOX SCORE

Beatdown in Brooklyn. The Sacramento Kings went into halftime with a lead and then never showed up for the final 24 minutes of the game Monday at Barclays Center. 

The Nets were the better team for most of the night as they ran Sacramento over by a final of 123-94.

D’Angelo Russell torched the Kings for 31 points on 7-of-14 from behind the arc. Joe Harris added 19 points and Rodions Kurucs ran through Sacramento’s defense for 16. 

Here are three takeaways as the Kings get embarrassed in Brooklyn to fall to 24-23 on the season.

Third Quarter Collapse

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Kings take a lead into halftime, only to give it all away in the third quarter. 

Through the first couple of months of the season, the Kings owned the third quarter. That hasn’t been the case in January. After leading 60-55 heading to the intermission, the ball got sticky and the shots didn’t fall in the third. 

Like most games this season, the Kings allowed their offensive woes to carry over to the defensive end. Brooklyn outscored Sacramento 38-25 in the third to take a 93-85 lead into the fourth. Russell got hot and the Kings didn’t have an answer.

Defensive? 

Sacramento lost their defense somewhere between Detroit and Brooklyn. Playing against a solid offensive club, the Kings couldn’t stay in front of anyone.

They made some adjustments in the second quarter, but they never figured out the counter move from the Nets coaching staff.

When Brooklyn wasn’t running layup lines past Sacramento’s guards, they were firing away from behind the arc with deadly accuracy. 

If the Kings want to compete for a playoff spot, they have to find a way to stop someone. The effort was bad, the rotations were slow and the rebounding was atrocious. 

Bogdanovic at the point

Bogdan Bogdanovic is the Kings’ most versatile player and against the Nets, he took on the role of distributor.

Coach Dave Joerger turned to his super-sub off the bench early and he instantly opened up the Kings’ offense. He got everyone involved, including Willie Cauley-Stein, who went on a dunking binge in the second quarter. 

Bogdanovic finished the game with 22 points, a career-high 11 assists and six rebounds in the loss.