Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Moda Center
TV: NBA League Pass (free)
Radio: Sports 1140 KHTK
Odds: Kings -8.5
Kings: OUT — Marvin Bagley III (right knee soreness); Tyrese Haliburton (rest); Buddy Hield (rest); Tristan Thompson (rest).
Blazers: OUT — Damian Lillard (rest); CJ McCollum (ankle); Nassir Little (hamstring); Ben McLemore (ankle); Norman Powell (hip); Tony Snell (foot); Cody Zeller (nose).
Several players on both sides have been ruled out for tonight’s game.
Kings forward Marvin Bagley III will be held out due to right knee soreness after missing practice over the weekend. Sacramento will rest Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson, likely leaving the Kings with a starting backcourt of De’Aaron Fox and rookie defensive sensation Davion Mitchell.
Kings coach Luke Walton said Bagley and Hield have both experienced some minor knee soreness over the past few days. Walton said he is not concerned about Bagley’s injury.
“He said he’s feeling much better today,” Walton said. “Tomorrow is an off day, so it just kind of makes sense for anyone who’s going through anything at all to have today and tomorrow as treatment-type days and be ready to get after it again on Thursday.”
The Trail Blazers will rest six-time All-Star Damian Lillard and Robert Covington. C.J. McCollum (ankle), Norman Powell (hip), Nassir Little (hamstring), Ben McLemore (ankle), Tony Snell (foot) and Cody Zeller (nose) have also been ruled out.
The afternoon injury report sparked a fresh round of trade speculation in Sacramento as Kings fans entertained the idea of acquiring All-Star Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers. Some wondered if the Kings were sitting Haliburton, Bagley, Hield and Thompson in anticipation of a trade.
Tim Maxwell of the Kings Herald took the opportunity to have a little fun with the ESPN Trade Machine. Maxwell constructed a trade that would send Haliburton, Hield, Bagley and Thompson to the 76ers for Simmons and Seth Curry.
Sources told The Sacramento Bee the Kings had expressed interest in Simmons in July, but those talks have been tabled as 76ers president Daryl Morey holds out for a bigger return. The Athletic’s David Aldridge recently reported Simmons “would have no problem going to Sacramento, I’m told, so strong is his desire to get out of Philadelphia.”
Walton deployed his third different starting lineup with Haliburton, Hield, Bagley and Thompson all unavailable.
The Kings elected to start Fox and Mitchell in the backcourt with Maurice Harkless, Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes. This is the first start of the preseason for Mitchell, who averaged 10 points, 3.5 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals in wins over the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers. Mitchell is shooting 47.1% from the field and a sizzling 57.1% from 3-point range.
Not half bad
The Kings led the Blazers 55-48 at the halftime break following a sensational first half from Mitchell and some hot shooting from Terence Davis off the bench.
Mitchell poured in 17 points, making 6 of 9 from the field and 5 of 7 from 3-point range. Davis came on to score 13 points in 11 minutes, making 5 of 7 field-goal attempts and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Fox has been held to six points on 1-of-9 shooting. The shot isn’t falling, but Fox has four assists, two rebounds and two steals.
Kings win again
The Kings improved to 3-0 in preseason play with a 107-93 victory over the Blazers.
Mitchell finished with 20 points after knocking down 7 of 12 from the field and 6 of 9 from 3-point range. Davis came off the bench to post 17 points. Barnes had 16. Fox was held to eight points on 2-of-10 shooting, but he had five assists, four rebounds and three steals in 22 minutes.
The Kings shot just 43.8% from the field. They were outrebounded 45-31, but they came up with 15 steals and forced 27 turnovers. Portland outscored Sacramento 48-38 on points in the paint, but the Kings had a 28-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
“I thought, defensively, we were good — active hands,” Walton said. “We had one bad quarter there in the second where they were getting too many easy looks, but I thought we played an overall pretty good game. Rebounding, they hurt us on the glass, which is something we keep harping on, but we made up for it with some really good effort and deflections and steals on that end of the court.”
Kings general manager Monte McNair posted a celebratory GIF on Twitter after the game.
Davis said morale is high after three preseason wins and chemistry is growing going into Thursday’s preseason finale against the Los Angeles Lakers at Golden 1 Center.
“The energy within the group itself is just amazing,” Davis said. “Everyone is pulling for each other. Everyone works extremely hard. I know you guys keep hearing it, but it’s the facts. I’m just excited to continue to grind and keep going to get this organization back where it was.”
This story was originally published October 11, 2021 5:01 PM.