The Sacramento Kings continued their preseason dominance over the Los Angeles Lakers with another ho-hum 133-86 drubbing of LeBron James and his cast of merry G-Leaguers Friday night at a sold out Golden 1 Center.
The victory gave Sacramento a 4-0 record to close out the preseason and provided some hope that head coach Mike Brown’s attention to defense might be starting to show some promise as the Kings were the top team in defensive rating during the preseason, holding their opponents to an average of just 89.8 points. Given, the opposition was not much to crow about being the hapless Lakers, disinterested Portland Trail Blazers, and a group of third stringers from Phoenix.
Domantas Sabonis had a solid outing, just missing a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists. He also had zero turnovers. With the Kings’ approach to sharing the basketball, it is likely the center will not be averaging 20+ points this season, but his value is undeniable as a distributor and rebounder.
De’Aaron Fox led all scorers with 21 points and his starting backcourt mate, Malik Monk chipped in 13. This was the first time the former Kentucky teammates started together since the NCAA tournament in 2017.
For the second straight game, James was kept in check for the Lakers and scored just 13 points. A tag team of forwards KZ Okpala and Chima Moneke made every shot difficult for the superstar. The only time he looked effective was when Harrison Barnes got switched out on him.
Kevin Huerter (ankle) and rookie Keegan Murray (illness) were both held out of the game. They are expected to play in the season opener against the Blazers on Wednesday, October 19 at the Golden 1 Center.
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