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Sacramento Kings Rout Maccabi Haifa in 132-100 Preseason Victory

by Matt George – Sports 1140 KHTK Reporter

The Sacramento Kings made their preseason home debut on Monday night against Israel’s Maccabi Haifa inside the Golden 1 Center. Despite a slow start offensively, the Kings settled into a groove from the 2nd quarter onward, defeating Haifa 132-100.

Buddy Hield, who had started every game this preseason, came off the bench (much like he did all last season) and started to create separation. He led all scorers with 22 points, shooting 81% from the field and a perfect four for four from three-point range. Justin Jackson, who had been struggling offensively all preseason, had a much-needed breakout game, knocking down four threes on his way to an 18-point outing.

Sacramento, as a whole, shot 53% from the field, assisting on 36 of their 52 baskets. They also were too much to handle in transition, scoring 30 fast break points. Defensively, they did allow Haifa to shoot over 50% for most of the game, but they forced 22 turnovers, with 16 steals and 12 blocks.

“We did what we wanted to do in the second half,” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger, “The first half they kind of did what they wanted to. We were a lot more physical and open in the second half and blew it open”.

Marvin Bagley finished with an efficient 12 points, six rebounds, and a block in 18 minutes. His fellow rookie, Harry Giles, turned in 16 points, seven rebounds, and four blocked shots.

“I am learning a lot,” Bagley said after the game, “I’m just going into every game trying to learn what I can. Obviously the game is faster than in college. I’m trying to learn on the fly. Best job in the world…”.

One of the Kings’ free agency acquisitions, Nemanja Bjelica, made his debut tonight, showing off his ability to space the floor. He finished with 12 points on five of seven shooting, and managed three out-of-nowhere blocks.

De’Aaron Fox complimented the stretch-big on his immediate effect he had on the team’s offensive flow. “It was great. He can pass the ball. I didn’t know he was that athletic, blocking shots, but he played well defensively. We already know he can stretch the floor. It was a great feeling when he got back out there.”

The Sacramento Kings, now 2-2 in preseason, have a couple days off before their next preseason game, at home against the Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

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