Rough second quarter dooms Sacramento Kings in loss to Clippers

Jul 10, 2023, 9:43 PM

(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

It’s increasingly unlikely that the Sacramento Kings will bring another Las Vegas Summer League title back to Golden 1 Center this year.

The Kings (1-1) put up a fight late during Monday night’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers, trimming a 21-point lead down to single digits with less than three minutes remaining, but too much damage had been done early.

Sacramento rookie Colby Jones turned in his strongest performance of the summer thus far, but the Kings fell to Los Angeles by a final of 80-70 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

With the loss, it’s looking like the Kings will not be in the mix for a spot in next Monday’s Summer League Championship, as the two teams will likely have undefeated records heading into the final.

After shooting 39 percent from the field and 26 percent from three-point range during Friday’s Summer League opener, the Kings picked up right where they left off during the first half on Monday.

Following a first quarter that saw Sacramento trail by just one point, Los Angeles opened things up by outscoring the Kings 27-9 during the second period.

Although Jones nearly posted a double-double during the first half, the Kings’ offense shot 27 percent from the field and three-of-15 (20%) from three-point range to allow the Clippers to enter the third quarter with a 44-25 advantage.

Sacramento punched back during the second half, outscoring Los Angeles 45-36 over the final 20 minutes of action, but they could not close the gap late.

Jones and second-year guard Keon Ellis made things interesting late, cutting the deficit to eight points with four minutes remaining, but Clippers guard Xavier Moon (18 points) put the finishing touches on things in the fourth by scoring 11 points on five-of-seven shooting.

In his most impressive showing yet, Jones stuffed the box score with 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks while shooting eight-of-13 from the field and three-of-seven from deep over 31 minutes.

The Xavier product used his impressive rebounding skills to grab a game-high nine boards, proving that his comparison to the talented rebounding guard-forward Josh Hart has some merit to it.

Ellis finished the night with 16 points (five-of-13 shooting), seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals over 29 minutes.

Aside from Jones and Ellis, the Kings’ offense struggled, shooting 37 percent from the field and 34 percent from three-point range–Sacramento’s second-straight game shooting under 40 percent from the floor.

The Summer Kings’ offense continues to look lost without All-Rookie First Team forward Keegan Murray, whose Summer League career came to a close following his 41-point performance during the California Classic finale on July 5th.

Sacramento turned the ball over 18 times on Monday, four more than its 14 turnovers on Friday night.

Injury Update

Kings center Neemias Queta exited the game during the second quarter after appearing to take a bad step and was ruled out for the remainder of Monday’s action.

Queta, who posted a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double on Friday night, finished with two points, two rebounds, and two blocked shots over just 10 minutes of playing time before suffering the injury.

More information on Queta’s injury is expected to come before Tuesday’s game against Chicago.

Next Game

It will be a quick turnaround for the Kings as they will be back in action less than 24 hours from now when they face the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs. Bulls coverage right here on Sactown Sports 1140 with live tweets, a postgame recap on the website following the game, and analysis the following morning on The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross.

Sacramento Kings NBA 2K24 Las Vegas Summer League Schedule

  • Tuesday, July 11th – Sacramento Kings vs. Chicago Bulls – 7:00 PM PST – ESPN 2
  • Thursday, July 13th – Sacramento Kings vs. Minnesota Timberwolves – 6:30 PM PST – NBA TV
  • Final game TBD based on performance in first four games

Sacramento Kings Offseason Schedule

  • Friday, July 7 –Monday, July 17– NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
  • August TBD – 2023-24 NBA regular season schedule release
  • September TBD – Sacramento Kings training camp begins
  • October TBD – Sacramento Kings preseason begins
  • October TBD – NBA regular season begins

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