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No More Pretending: Kings Defeat Lakers To Cap Off Preseason

(Chris Watkins/Sports 1140 KHTK)

Sacramento completed its preseason with a 4-0 record after defeating Los Angeles on Thursday night

If the Sacramento Kings can carry its preseason play over to the regular season, we just might see some winning basketball in 2021-22.

Sacramento capped off an undefeated preseason (4-0) on Thursday night after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers by a final of 116-112 at Golden 1 Center in a game that had the feels of the regular season contest.

LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony were all active for Los Angeles, giving the Kings its greatest test of the preseason–a test that the team would not take lightly.

Sacramento’s unofficial preseason MVP Harrison Barnes got off to a hot start on Thursday, scoring eight points in the first quarter to pace the offense early. After trailing 17-11 with 6:06 remaining in the first quarter, the Kings would go on a 24-6 run to end the period and take a 35-23 lead into the second.

Future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony would knock down back-to-back triples to open up the second quarter and help wake up the Lakers offense, with Los Angeles using a 23-6 run of their own to put themselves back in front.

Sacramento countered with a run of their own, ending the quarter on a 32-21 run to take a 71-65 lead into the half behind the strong play of Barnes (15 first-half points), Buddy Hield (11 first-half points) and Richaun Holmes (10 first-half points).

Both teams would trade baskets in the third quarter and energize a packed Golden 1 Center, with the Kings heading into the fourth quarter with a 92-87 advantage.

Terence Davis turned into ‘the microwave’ late, knocking down four triples in the final period to head Sacramento’s offensive attack early in the quarter. LeBron James and the Lakers answered each triple from Davis to take a 104-102 lead with seven minutes remaining.

Both teams played its key contributors until around the two-minute mark, with the Kings holding on the seal the victory and cap off an overall successful preseason.

While Thursday night’s game at Golden 1 Center was a preseason game with little-to-no meaning, the atmosphere and overall vibe of the game did not match that of any game from last season, summer league or preseason. The fans were back in the building at near-full force, something that had been desperately missed over the past 18 months.

The next time fans file into Golden 1 Center will be for the real thing–next Friday’s home-opener against the Utah Jazz.

Kings basketball is officially back.

Rounding out the box score

De’Aaron Fox led all Kings scorers with 21 points (eight-of-21 from the field) to go along with three rebounds and five assists over 33 minutes. Terence Davis was feeling it from deep, finishing the night six-of-13 from beyond the arc for a 20-point performance.

Richaun Holmes and Harrison Barnes each added 15 points in the loss, with Holmes posting his first double-double of the preseason.

Buddy Hield added 13 points off of the bench, while Tyrese Haliburton scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists in the win.

Injury Updates

Marvin Bagley III (right knee soreness) was the lone member of the Kings to be listed on the team’s injury report.

Bagley practiced on Wednesday but was not a participant during shoot-around on Thursday morning. Walton said that Bagley is day-to-day and that his injury “is not serious.” Walton said postgame that Bagley was active for the preseason finale but “was not part of the game-plan for tonight” after missing shoot-around.

The fourth-year forward was working out on the floor with assistant coach Doug Christie prior to Thursday’s contest against the Lakers.

Coming Up

It’s time for regular season basketball.

At long last, Sacramento’s 2021-22 regular season will begin on Wednesday (October 20th) in Portland as the Kings will face Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers.

It was all Portland in 2020-21 ast the Blazers swept Sacramento (3-0) in the season series, the most recent matchup being a 123-119 win over the Kings at Moda Center on March 4th.

De’Aaron Fox’s monster night (32 points, eight rebounds, 12 assists) would go to waste as Lillard’s 44-point outburst would be enough to hold off Sacramento late.

Since the 2011-12 season, the Kings hold a 2-15 record at the Moda Center.

Be sure to get all of your opening night coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK with pregame coverage beginning at 3:00pm PST on The Jason Ross Show prior to a 7:00pm PST tip-off from Portland, Oregon.

Sacramento Kings upcoming schedule

  • October 20th @ Portland Trail Blazers (Regular season opener)
  • October 22nd vs Utah Jazz (Home opener)
  • October 24th vs Golden State Warriors
  • October 27th @ Phoenix Suns
  • October 29th @ New Orleans Pelicans