The Sacramento Kings entertained the Golden 1 Center crowd in their season opener tonight but fell short to the Utah Jazz in the end.
The Sacramento Kings finally began their 2018-2019 campaign tonight against the Utah Jazz. Unfortunately, however, the Kings were not able to leave with the victory as they lost by a score of 123-117.
The Kings started out the game in the best way possible. Their offense was fluid as they were hitting easy buckets constantly while playing solid defense on a Jazz team that was still trying to find their rhythm. As a result, the Kings held a 16-point lead at one point during the first quarter, but due to the Jazz finding their offense, the Kings only led 34-30 after one.
Once the second quarter began, the Kings’ offense disappeared. The purple and white were unable to make their shots and had trouble scoring in the paint due to the presence of Rudy Gobert. The Kings only scored 21 points in the second which had them trailing 68-55 going into halftime.
Once the second half started, the Kings found their mojo. The starters for Sacramento were clicking together which had their team back in the game. But when the starters had to sit on the bench to rest, Sacramento’s efficiency disappeared again. The Kings’ bench was outmatched by the Jazz on both ends of the court which gave Utah momentum entering the final quarter. The Kings tried to make an epic comeback in the finals minutes of the game, but the Jazz held on to their lead until the clock hit triple zeroes.
Overall, the Kings were competitive against a team that is projected to make a long playoff run this season, which should be encouraging for the Kings and their fans. But at the end of the day, it is still a loss for Sacramento.
Going forward, the Kings will need to figure out how their team can be effective other than their lineup of De’Aaron Fox, Yogi Ferrell, Buddy Hield, Nemanja Bjelica, and Willie Cauley-Stein. If that group of five is the only the way the Kings can play good basketball, it is going to be another long season for the Kings.
Players who performed well for Sacramento tonight were De’Aaron Fox who recorded 21 points, seven assists, and three steals, Nemanja Bjelica who scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Willie Cauley-Stein who finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.
Next time the Kings will hit the floor will be in New Orleans against the Pelicans Friday night.