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Kings Top Suns in Golden 1 Center Preseason Opener

Photo by Kimani Okearah (Sactown Royalty)

The Sacramento Kings opened up the Golden 1 Center with a comfortable 105-88 win over the Phoenix Suns, where their defensive effort was the major difference maker. It was a complete team win, with six different Kings finishing with double-figures in the scoring column.

“I was very pleased with our defensive effort,” said Kings head coach Luke Walton, “That was my challenge to the guys. The defensive intensity and mindset that I’ve been talking about, we saw that tonight”.

Sacramento held Phoenix to just 32% shooting from the field and 18% from behind three-point range. Suns star Devin Booker, who has a history of scoring success against the Kings, managed only 18 points on 16 shots. The only struggles for Sacramento defensively were staying out of foul trouble. Phoenix finished the night with 34 total free throws.

“(Defense) was our biggest improvement. We fouled too much at times, but we were aggressive. Lots to build on” said new Kings big man Richaun Holmes.

Holmes is quickly becoming a fan favorite with the energy and hustle that he plays with. He finished his Golden 1 Center debut with 11 points and six rebounds, along with a bunch of altered shots that don’t show up on the stat sheet.

“I loved him. I told Vlade we should get him (last season). I love the way he plays. He gets after it. He is the missing piece that will help us go far,” said Buddy Hield.

De’Aaron Fox added, “He comes out and plays with energy, blocks shots, grabs rebounds. Love playing with (him)”.

“I love playing here and I’m going to give it my all every night,” said Holmes.

Fox led the Kings in scoring with 18 points. He also finished with a team-high six assists in 29 minutes.

Marvin Bagley earned a double-double with 12 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.

Sacramento opens up the regular season on Wednesday, October 23rd against the Suns in Phoenix. Their next preseason game is Monday, October 14th against the Jazz in Utah.