Kings Bounce Back From Sudden-Death Loss With Win Over Pacers

Jul 10, 2022, 3:11 PM
(Chris Watkins/Sactown Sports 1140)...
(Chris Watkins/Sactown Sports 1140)
(Chris Watkins/Sactown Sports 1140)

Following Saturday’s dramatic sudden-death, double-overtime loss, the Sacramento Kings needed a bounce-back performance on Sunday if they wanted to keep their Las Vegas Summer League championship hopes alive.

Thanks to a big fourth quarter from Keegan Murray and big games from Sean McDermott and Frankie Ferrari, Sacramento was able to defeat sixth-overall pick Bennedict Mathurin and the Indiana Pacers by a final of 103-96 to secure their first win of the week.

With the win, the Kings (1-1) are still in the mix for a top-two finish in the NBA Summer League standings. Two losses will all but guarantee elimination from the championship game as the teams with the two best records will face off on July 17th for a chance at securing a Summer League ring.


In what seemed like an encore performance of yesterday’s 23-point outing, Neemias Queta quickly put his offense on display during the first quarter on Sunday.

The seven-footer scored nine points on a perfect four-of-four shooting from the field–including another three-pointer–to put Sacramento out in front 33-25 after 10 minutes of play.

Similarly to Saturday’s game against the Orlando Magic, the Kings’ second unit struggled to hold a comfortable lead as Indiana used a 16-6 run to take the lead with six minutes remaining in the half. Sacramento has struggled to put together consistent successful possessions on both sides of the ball with most of their starters out as depth is not a strength of this roster.

Outside of Sean McDermott’s solid first half (11 of the team’s 14 first-half bench points), Sacramento’s bench couldn’t seem to find the bottom of the basket during the first two-quarters of action.

Upon re-entering the game, the Kings’ starters ended the half on an 18-9 run that was capped off on the defensive end with a two-block sequence from Queta. Thanks to the production from the starters (43 points on 51 percent shooting), Sacramento took a 57-49 lead into the break.

Indiana claimed the third period as sixth-overall pick Bennedict Mathurin and the Pacers outscored a sluggish Sacramento team 26-17 in the quarter. After Queta exited the game due to calf soreness, the Kings had no clear line of defense in the a paint–something that Indiana took advantage of to take a 75-74 lead into the fourth.

With Queta sidelined and Keegan Murray struggling, McDermott continued to carry the offensive load late into the game.

McDermott knocked down consecutive jumpers from beyond the three-point arc to keep things tied at 79-79, but the Pacers’ intense defense held the Kings offense to just two points over five minutes while increasing their lead to 87-81 with four minutes remaining.

Triples from Murray and Keon Ellis paced a 13-4 run for Sacramento that acted as the final nail in the coffin for Indiana as the Kings wouldn’t look back after pushing its lead to five with 58.6 on the clock. An and-one score at the rim from Murray put the finishing touches on this one, capping off a 10-point fourth quarter for the fourth-overall pick.

Although Murray struggled for most of Sunday’s contest, the forward came through when his team needed him most to secure Sacramento’s first win in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League.

Murray finished the afternoon with a team-high 23 points on seven-of-16 shooting from the field and four-of-12 from beyond the arc to go along with two rebounds and three assists over 33 minutes.

The 21-year-old has topped the 20-point mark in four of his five Summer League appearances, doing so against some top draft picks from last month’s NBA Draft over the past two games–first-overall pick Paolo Banchero and sixth-overall pick Bennedict Mathurin.

“It’s a good experience for me,” Murray said postgame of facing off against other top talents from the 2022 Draft class. “It’s been good for me and my confidence, just taking everything in.”

Rounding Out The Box Score

Sean McDermott scored 18 of Sacramento’s 24 bench points during Sunday’s win, shooting seven-of-nine from the field and three-of-five from beyond the arc. Not much was working for the Kings’ bench against Indiana, but McDermott provided the second unit with a much-needed boost.

Frankie Ferrari shook off a rough start to his summer with a 16-point showing against the Pacers. The guard finished the afternoon with 16 points on five-of-eight shooting from the field, four-of-six shooting from beyond the arc, and three assists over 26 minutes of action.

Keon Ellis added 15 points off of the bench to go along with six assists, three steals, and one blocked shot during the win. The Alabama product continued to display impressive effort and hustle on both sides of the floor during Sunday’s game.

Neemias Queta scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds before exiting the game due to injury during the third quarter, while Jared Rhoden added 13 points, five rebounds, and two steals to round out Sacramento’s starting lineup.

Sacramento’s starters scored 79 of the team’s 103 points.

Injury Updates

Neemias Queta exited the game during the third quarter due to calf soreness and was ruled out for the remainder of Sunday’s game.

Summer League head coach Jordi Fernandez said that he is “optimistic” that Queta will recover quickly from the ailment, and added that the team will re-evaluate the big man before Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma City.

‘In Da Club’

During this edition of ‘which celebrity is sitting next to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, rapper 50 Cent was in the building for Sunday’s game between the Kings and Pacers.

Also in attendance:

  • Former Kings guard Buddy Hield
  • Former Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton
  • Kings forward Chimezie Metu
  • Kings guard Davion Mitchell
  • Former Kings head coach and current VP of Basketball Engagement Alvin Gentry

Coming Up

The Kings will enjoy two days off before facing second-overall pick Chet Holmgren and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday afternoon.

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

  • 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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