A strong second half led the Sacramento Kings past Israel’s Maccabi Haifa B.C. 132-100 in their fourth preseason game.
The first half was a struggle for the Kings as they let Maccabi Haifa jump out to a quick 9-2 lead. Justin Jackson’s 7 points kept Sacramento close and the first quarter ended in a 25-25 tie.
The Kings looked like they turned a corner in the second quarter, jumping out on a 16-9 run led by Buddy Hield’s 12 points in the quarter eventually building up a 19-point lead. Maccabi Haifa clawed back, however, and ended the half down just 10.
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Buddy Hield led the Kings with 14 points, 3 assists at the break, followed by J-Jax’s 12 points and Willie Cauley-Stein’s 10 points.
Maccabi Haifa B.C. proved difficult for the Sacramento Kings to pull away from in the second half before the offense exploded mid-way through the third quarter. The Kings leaned on a heavy dose of passing and three-pointers to build up an 82-65 lead before blowing it open 101-79 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was much of the same for Sacramento as they were able to firmly put down any comeback hopes from Maccabi.
Player of the Game:
Its gotta be Buddy Hield. Hield took over in the second quarter and is really the reason the Sacramento Kings were able to build their lead.
After pouring in 14p on 6 shots to go with 3 assists and 2 steals, he finished the game with 22 points on 9-11 shooting (4-4 3PT), 5 assists and 2 rebounds in 27 minutes of action.
Justin Jackson also deserves an honorable mention at the least after finishing with 18 points on 7-12 shooting (4-8 3PT), 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 24 minutes. It was easily his best game of the season and something he will look to build on heading into the regular season.
Buddy Hield found his rhythm. After struggling to get anything to fall against the Golden State Warriors he rebounded in a big way. He only missed two shots all night going for 22 points, after missing nine against the Warriors in a game where he only managed 7 points.
Harry Giles continued his strong play. While most of his counting stats came in garbage time, it’s a good sign to see Giles respond well after amassing three fouls in the first half. Giles ended with 16 points on 6-10 shooting to go with 7 rebounds and 2 assists.
Marvin Bagley III’s preseason struggles continued in another tough night for the first-year big. He only played 18 minutes tonight and was vastly out-played by Kings-newcomer Nemanja Bjelica. Bjelica went for 12 points on 5-7 shooting to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists; Bagley on the other hand, also had 12 points but only shot 3-7 to go with his 6 boards. Bagley’s struggles are concerning to a certain degree, but he’s only 19 and will need time to adjust to the NBA-level. Be patient.
De’Aaron Fox also struggled in this one. He had 6 rebounds and 6 assists, including a gorgeous pass to Buddy in transition but shot 3-9 (1-4 3PT) for 7 points. Fox played excellent earlier in the preseason but has since lost his rhythm, he’ll look to right the ship against the Utah Jazz on Thursday.
Finally, Frank Mason III continued his stellar play thus far going for 13 points and 8 assists on 5-11 shooting. It’s obviously early, but Mason has been one of the NBA’s most impactful players thus far and has arguably guaranteed himself a spot in the rotation with his strong play. FM3 has been playing like a man in a mission since his stint with Team USA in the summer, something the organization surely hopes will carry over into the season.