No Fox? No Problem: Kings Beat Trail Blazers 107-99
Just like we all expected, without De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley due to injury, the Sacramento Kings defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 107-99 on Tuesday night.
“I want to talk about our defense,” said Kings head coach Luke Walton to open up his postgame press conference, “It’s what we have been preaching every day in training camp. Slowly guys are starting to understand and really make steps both individually and as a team.”
The Kings got off to a dreadful start offensively, at one point shooting just 17% from the field to Portland’s 70%. The Blazers built a 12 point lead early and the game had all the makings of an ugly blowout. Then, Bogdan Bogdanovic checked into the game and used his defense to spark the Sacramento offense.
Bogdanovic finished with a career high four steals, all in the first half, along with 25 points and 10 assists. He was one of three Kings to finish with a double-double; Nemanja Bjelica collected 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Richaun Holmes tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds.
“I try to make the right play every single time. If I’m not open I know someone else will be. They’ve got to help from somewhere,” said Bogdanovic.
“What got (Bogdanovic) going tonight was his defense. He was in there getting deflections. He has great basketball instincts and really long arms,” added Walton.
Cory Joseph made his first start as a Sacramento King, filling in for the injured Fox, and made a clutch three late to help secure the victory, despite missing his first five shots.
“We’re a talented team. We went out there focused and showed it tonight,” Joseph said.
After and 0-5 start, the Sacramento Kings have won four of their last five games. But Luke Walton is still not close to satisfied.
“We have a long way to go and we know that but it shows the team is growing and the team trusts each other. We’re 4-6. What do we have to be excited about?”