Preseason finale: Kings, Jazz face off in preview of season-opener

Oct 19, 2023, 8:54 AM | Updated: 10:13 am

Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings shoots over Talen Horton-Tucker #0 of the Utah Jazz dur...

(Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

(Photo by Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

Next time, it’s for real.

With media day, training camp, and now four exhibition games in the rearview, the Sacramento Kings will conclude the preseason portion of their schedule on Thursday night when they face the Utah Jazz at Golden 1 Center.

In just six days, Sacramento and Utah will go head-to-head in a season-opening matchup in Salt Lake City, meaning that these two teams will use Thursday as a dress rehearsal for next Wednesday’s opener.

The Kings ramped their starters up to regular season levels during last night’s thrilling loss in San Francisco, meaning we could see much of the team’s depth take the floor against Utah.

Whether it be the core rotation guys or the deep bench, here are some things to look out for during this Kings vs. Jazz preseason matchup.

Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz Game Info

When: 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA


Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 5:30 PM on Game Night

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Warriors coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Tickets: Click here

Will the core rotation players suit up?

Mike Brown played his starters near their regular season workloads on Wednesday against the Warriors:

  • Keegan Murray – 36 minutes
  • Domantas Sabonis – 34 minutes
  • Harrison Barnes – 33 minutes
  • De’Aaron Fox – 32 minutes
  • Kevin Huerter – 26 minutes

Following the contest against Golden State, Brown said that the intention is for all regulars to suit up during Thursday’s preseason finale.

“We’re still gonna try and play our guys,” Brown said of his plans for rotations against Utah. “We’ve got to see who’s healthy, who’s not feeling good and all that other stuff, but we’re going try and play our guys, especially in the first half, then we’ll see what happens in the second half.”

While all of Sacramento’s players may suit up against the Jazz, seeing a few guys rest after playing big minutes against the Warriors wouldn’t be surprising.

This is the final chance for Brown and his staff to evaluate fringe rotation players and get another look at Jaylen Nowell, who is the lone player on the current Kings roster without a contract for the upcoming season (Sacramento has one open roster spot).

More Colby Jones, please

Rookie guard Colby Jones was one of Sacramento’s stars of the night during Wednesday’s game in San Francisco.

Jones checked in at the end of the first quarter and immediately impacted both ends of the floor. The Xavier product finished the night with 10 points (four-of-eight shooting), two assists, and one steal over 15 minutes of playing time.

Outside of Malik Monk (20 minutes) and Davion Mitchell (17 minutes), Jones logged the third-most minutes off Sacramento’s bench against Golden State, meaning that it’s possible the guard could open the season with a role in Brown’s rotation.

The Kings need a two-way player like Jones, who has looked comfortable on both ends of the floor and has been a capable ball-handler.

If all of Sacramento’s core guys suit up for Thursday’s game and Jones gets another early call, it bodes well for his chances of cracking the opening night rotation, especially with Chris Duarte’s status in question for the season opener.

How about… a win?

It’s been a while since the last time the Sacramento Kings won a game.

Sure, the Kings won some games during the California Classic and NBA Summer League, but following an 0-4 start to preseason play, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to go into the season on a high note in the form of winning their final tune-up game.

Only two NBA teams have failed to win one exhibition game thus far: Sacramento (0-4) and the Dallas Mavericks (0-3).

And yes, of course, preseason win-loss records aren’t an indication of what a team will do during the regular season, that is widely known–but a 0-5 preseason isn’t ideal, no matter how you slice it.

The Beam won’t be lit until the regular season, but a win in front of the Golden 1 Center faithful seems like a solid way to head into what many hope will be another exciting season of Kings basketball.

Injury Updates

  • Chris Duarte (left knee bone bruise) will miss the final game of the preseason before being reevaluated leading into next week’s season opener. Duarte’s injury isn’t considered serious, but the Kings will hold their new guard out of action to give him a better chance of being available for the start of the regular season.
  • Shortly before tip-off on Wednesday in San Francisco, Trey Lyles was ruled due to left calf soreness. Lyles is considered day-to-day.

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule

  • Thursday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7 PM PST

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule

  • Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM PST (Season Opener)
  • Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST (Home Opener)
  • Sunday, October 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 6 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Saturday, November 4th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST
  • Monday, November 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST

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