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  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Ben McLemore is fouled on a drive Wednesday against Minnesota.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Ben McLemore and Kings summer league coach Chris Jent talk things over.



Kings notes: McLemore comes up empty from the floor

Published: Thursday, Jul. 18, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 18, 2013 - 3:13 pm

LAS VEGAS – Ben McLemore knows his game needs work in plenty of areas.

Summer league has reminded him of that constantly.

The latest examples came in the Kings' 92-54 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. The first-round draft pick went 0 for 8 from the floor and finished with one point and three turnovers.

In four summer league games, the shooting guard made 16 of 57 shots (28 percent).

"This is the whole reason I'm here in the summer league," he said. "To keep playing and get better at everything. I know when I get back after the summer league, I know the things I need to work on. Even before I got here, I knew the things I needed to work on. I know I need to work on my overall game, my ballhandling, things like that."

Ballhandling is McLemore's chief concern. The coaching staff isn't overly concerned with his shooting.

Coach Michael Malone wants McLemore to continue to take better shots, a progression that would be aided by improved ballhandling.

McLemore occasionally has had trouble controlling the ball against tight defense.

"I think as he improves his ballhandling and his ability to break down his man off the dribble, that's going to open up a whole other facet of his game," Malone said. "He's too athletic to settle for jump shots."

Tough time – The Kings trailed by as many as 43 points against the Timberwolves and fell to 0-4 in summer league.

It was the Kings' third game in three days.

"This is our third game in a row and guys are tired, but I'd like to be a no-excuse, no-explanation team, and we're not going to use that as an excuse," Malone said. "The effort we put forward was embarrassing. That's not who we want to be, and that's not the kind of show we want to put on the floor."

Point guard Ray McCallum, the Kings' second-round draft choice, had eight points, making 3 of 11 shots. Will Clyburn led the Kings with 15 points.

Malone said McCallum is doing a good job of trying to run the team but has to avoid overdribbling, which puts him in a bind on offense.

The game was the first for the Kings in the summer league's tournament portion. They are scheduled to play Atlanta at 3 p.m. Friday.

All teams are guaranteed five games in summer league. Teams reaching the championship game will play eight games.

A little rest – The Kings today will have their first full day off of summer league.

They have practiced or played every day since July 9. Perhaps a day of rest will lead to a win.

"Coach said we can't let fatigue stop us," McLemore said. "We've got to buckle down and keep fighting."

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Jason Jones



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