Sudden Death: Murray, Kings Drop Summer League Thriller To Banchero, Magic

Jul 9, 2022, 4:47 PM | Updated: 4:58 pm

(Chris Watkins/Sactown Sports 1140)...

(Chris Watkins/Sactown Sports 1140)

(Chris Watkins/Sactown Sports 1140)

What just happened?

When all seemed lost for the Sacramento Kings during Saturday’s NBA Las Vegas Summer League opener, the basketball gods gifted those that were watching with a sudden-death classic.

After trailing by 18 points with less than five minutes remaining, the Kings mounted a furious comeback against first-overall pick Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic. Thanks to the play of guard Keon Ellis, forward Jared Rhoden, and center Neemias Queta, Sacramento ran up a 10-0 run to bring themselves within 83-77 with less than one minute to go.

The Magic were sloppy during the final second of regulation, turning the ball over with 28.5 seconds left, leading to another Kings bucket as the gap between Orlando and Sacramento shrunk to just four.

Aleem Ford’s free throws gave the Magic a six-point lead with only 7.4 seconds on the clock to all but put this one away–or so we thought.

Out of the timeout, the Kings displayed an interesting offensive sequence, one that ended with center Neemias Queta having the ball in his hands beyond the three-point arc. Queta let it fly and sank the triple to cut Orlando’s lead to 87-84 with just eight seconds remaining in regulation.

What happened next would be utterly chaotic.

Fourth-overall pick Keegan Murray picked off Banchero’s deflected inbounds pass, took a step behind the three-point arc and drilled a trey of his own to tie things up at 87-87, sending the Thomas & Mack Center into a frenzy.

It was truly pandemonium in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately for the Kings, they would squander a three-point lead during the closing seconds of overtime as this game would be decided in sudden-death overtime, meaning that the first team to score in the second extra period would take home the win.

Similarly to the first overtime, Sacramento had its chances in sudden death. Queta’s game-winning attempt at the rim was swatted away by Banchero, giving the Magic possession after a personal foul call on the play was overturned.

It all came down to former Kings Summer League champion Emanuel Terry, who put the finishing touches on Orlando’s 94-92 win with a lay-in at the rim off of a savy dish from Banchero.

It was a stinger of a defeat for the Kings as they dropped their first game of the summer. Although Murray and Queta combined for 43 points, Sacramento was unable to string together stops in the third quarter–a lop-sided portion of the game that would prove to be the difference.

The Kings won’t have much time to dwell on Saturday’s loss, as they will be back in action at noon on Sunday for a showdown with sixth-overall pick Bennedict Mathurin and the Indiana Pacers.

Game Story

Number-one overall pick Paolo Banchero made his presence known almost immediately on Saturday as the talented forward scored nine points (three-of-four shooting from the field) during the first quarter. The Duke product energized a packed Thomas & Mack Center with a breakaway 360 dunk to jumpstart an entertaining matchup between the Kings and Magic.

Neemias Queta showcased his offensive skillset early, scoring eight points on three-of-four shooting to lead Sacramento to a 24-18 lead after 10 minutes of action.

Orlando came out swinging in the second quarter as Banchero and Admiral Schofield paced a 10-2 run to give the Magic an eight-point lead–their largest of the half. After struggling for most of the contest, Keegan Murray knocked off the rust to help lead Sacramento on a run of their own to trim the deficit to 44-42 at the break.

Murray’s play would continue to improve in the third as the 21-year-old finished the quarter with 17 points on the afternoon, but Orlando mounted another lopsided run to put the Kings in a 70-59 hole heading into the final period.



Murray went on to have another 20-point outing, finishing the game with 20 points on five-of-11 shooting from the field, four-of-eight shooting from beyond the arc, and nine rebounds over 36 minutes.

The Iowa product more than held his own against the number-one pick Banchero, holding the forward to six-of-15 from the field during the pair of forward’s first meeting professional level.

Kings head coach Jordi Fernandez said postgame that he was impressed by Murray’s poise on the floor, noting that the forward’s calmness and sense of awareness during the three-pointer at the end of the fourth was an impressive feat.

“Poise like that, in a rookie, it’s hard to find,” Fernandez said postgame.

Notes & Observations

  • Keon Ellis found his touch from the perimeter during the losing effort as the guard converted five of his six attempts from beyond the arc to finish the game with 15 points, four assists, and one steal over 33 minutes of playing time.
  • Neemias Queta led all Kings scorers with 23 points (eight-of-12 from the field) to go along with eight boards, three assists, one steal, and one block over 30 minutes. The seven-footer had his best offensive showing of the summer and looked like a true force in the paint against the Magic defense.

Kings In The House

There was no shortage of Sacramento Kings personnel in the building on Saturday–both past and present.

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive made the trip to Las Vegas, along with general manager Monte McNair and several members of the roster, including Davion Mitchell, Domantas Sabonis, Kevin Huerter, Terence Davis, and Stockton Kings guard Quinn Cook.

Former Kings general manager Vlade Divac was also in the house as the Hall of Famer sat courtside with Ranadive and Sacramento head coach Mike Brown. Peter D’Alessandro–another former general manager for the franchise–was in attendance at Thomas & Mack Center as part of his assistant general manager duties with the Magic.

Coming Up

Sacramento won’t have much time to rest following Saturday’s contest against Orlando as they will face the Indiana Pacers in a matinee showing at noon PST on Sunday.

Sixth-overall pick Bennedict Mathurin will look to build off of his impressive Summer League debut on Friday afternoon as the 6-6 forward scored 23 points on nine-of-16 shooting from the field during Indiana’s 96-84 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

NBA 2K23 Summer League in Las Vegas (July 7-17th)

  • vs Indiana Pacers – Sunday, July 10 – 12:00 pm PST
  • vs Oklahoma City Thunder – Wednesday, July 13 – 5:00 pm PST
  • vs Phoenix Suns – Friday, July 15 – 5:00 pm PST
  • Final game TBD

Be sure to get all of your Kings’ summer league coverage right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for live coverage from Las Vegas all week long!



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