The Sacramento Kings haven’t lost since April!
Behind the heroic effort of Marco Belinelli and Darren Collison, the Kings were able to rally a second-half comeback victory to start off the preseason 1-0 over a very young and talented, Portland Trailblazers.
Digging themselves into a deficit early, the Kings begun the game very unenthusiastically and nonchalant. “The reason they were beating us was because we didn’t match their intensity. We played a little too cool,” remarked Karl following the game.
Although, it seemed Sacramento was more out of sorts if anything. The Kings turned the ball over a total of 23 times, just below the teams total of (25) assists.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 22 points and Marco Belinelli added 32 points with four three-pointers.
“I’ve coached some really good shooters […] and Belinelli reminds me of a damn good shooter. I mean I’m not talking damn good, I’m talking elite,” reflected Karl.
The battle for the point guard position in Sacramento is getting increasingly interesting. With Rondo starting the evening, it was Darren Collison who ran the floor with a team-high 10 assists.
This young Portland team was still experimenting with roster roles and developing chemistry. Noah Vonleh was able to come off the bench and score 12 points while snagging 11 rebounds.
The defensive presence of the Kings really made a difference down the stretch of the evening. “I would give our 5-on-5 defense a pretty high grade,” said Karl. The coach had made a defensive commitment a major focus this offseason.
The Kings held Rip-City to only 23 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Less than any other quarter in the evening.
The Sacramento Kings have some work to clean up before the regular season begins. This Wednesday, they will be taking on conference opponent, the Phoenix Suns.