Led by Buddy Hield and Yogi Ferrell’s combined 38 points, the Sacramento Kings fell to the Portland Trailblazers 118-115 in an electric shootout.
Despite getting double-digit points from all their starters, the Sacramento Kings were unable to knockoff the Trailblazers after Justin Jackson missed the game-tying three with under five seconds remaining.
In a game that saw eight lead changes and six ties, neither team was blue to pull away even though Portland led by 14 at one point. The balanced attack on offense was able to keep Sacramento in the game, even if they were outlasted in the end.
Despite the loss, there are plenty of positives to take away from tonight’s loss. Portland was a playoff team last season and is projected to be one again this year, so a close loss to a good team on the road is a positive in itself. While there’s no such thing as a “quality loss” this might be as close as you can get to one.
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Marvin Bagley III has arrived. After struggling with efficiency early in the preseason, Bagley broke out in a big way on Friday. He went for 15 points and 6 rebounds but shot a stellar 63.6 percent, including a block and a steal on his way to a +5 on the night.
Bagley has been solid numbers wise thus far putting up fantastic per-36 minutes numbers of 19.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocks but has struggled with efficiency. If tonight’s performance is a sign of things to come, the second-guessing of the Kings most recent draft pick should put be to rest.
Buddy Hield and Yogi Ferrell led Sacramento in scoring, with each putting up 19 points but combining to shoot 11-26 from the field. On the plus side, however, they combined for a phenomenal 9-1 assist-turnover ratio and were key players in keeping the Kings competitive. Oh, and Ferrell led the Kings in minutes tonight with 40 (!). Hield was second on the team with 34 minutes played.
Frank Mason III also struggled from the field shooting just 4-12 but was good in nearly every other area. He had 14 points, hit 60 percent of his threes and 75 percent of his free throws in addition to adding 4 rebounds and 8 assists. Mason has certainly made a strong case for a rotation spot.
Harry Giles’ success continued, even though he only shot 20 percent from the field. Giles grabbed 6 rebounds, had 4 assists and 2 steals keeping up his ability to impact the game in all facets even on an off-night from the field.
Finally, Nemanja Bjelica played great in reserve for Sacramento, scoring 10 points on 57.1 percent shooting from the field and 66 percent from three, and grabbing 9 rebounds in just 17 minutes of play.
Willie Cauley-Stein’s rebounding woes continued as he was our rebound by everyone but Ferrell, Skal Labissiere (6 minutes played) and Ben McLemore (13 minutes played). Not exactly a major concern yet, but that could change if this persists. Of course, he only played 20 minutes and did score 14 points in this one.
Building off those minutes numbers, Skal Labissiere appears to be the odd man out in terms of playing time. Similarly, when Bogdanovic returns McLemore will likely join him in the bench. Based off of preseason play, Sacramento’s rotation when Bogdan is healthy will likely feature Fox, Hield, Jackson, Bagley, Cauley-Stein, Giles, Bjelica, Mason and Ferrell (in no particular order).
Up Next: The Sacramento Kings (0-0) will take on the Utah Jazz (0-0) at home on Oct. 17