The Sacramento Kings made a game of it late, but still fell to the Milwaukee Bucks 131-123 Saturday afternoon in Orlando.
But if you caught the game, you would have said it was never close. Milwaukee’s size, strength, athleticism, and outside shooting dominated Sacramento’s patchwork lineup throughout the first half of the contest as they dropped 80 on the Kings to lead by 20 at the break.
With Harry Giles being their only one true center on the active roster, the Kings looked like boys against men out there. The Bucks would attack the paint, the Kings would collapse to help the not-so-big bigs, and the ball would be kicked outside for a wide open three. By the end, Milwaukee splashed 20 three-pointers, including six by the Lopez brothers. When 7-footers are doing that to your team, its game over.
But this was a scrimmage, and the outcome was not really the priority for Sacramento.
De’Aaron Fox made his Orlando debut and appeared rusty at times, but there were no signs of his ankle slowing him down. In 19 minutes of action, he finished with seven points and six assists, and most importantly showed the speed this team needs to be successful. Afterwards, he told the media that he felt good and expected to play in the team’s final scrimmage on Monday.
Buddy Hield had another solid game with 19 points off the bench, while Corey Brewer added 12 on an efficient 5-6 shooting, including 2-2 from deep.
Probably the most noticeable improvement over their last game was how they took care of the ball. After committing 16 turnovers in a 40-minute game three days earlier, the Kings had just ten in today’s regulation contest.
The only better news that could trump that is no one got hurt, and Richaun Holmes is expected to participate in Monday’s scrimmage finale against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Kings are slowly getting back to full strength. Will it be enough?