Ben McLemore recently endured the kind of shooting stretch he’d like to forget.
Over a six-game span, he shot 17.1 percent (6 for 35).
But in his last three games entering Monday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, McLemore showed signs of finding his offense. He shot 72.7 percent (16 for 22), including matching his career high with 20 points in Friday’s loss at Miami.
The rookie from Kansas credits assistant coach Chris Jent with helping him work his way out of his shooting funk.
Never miss a local story.
“Now, me and coach Jent have been going through this daily routine, a shooting routine that got me back to my rhythm,” McLemore said. “Now we’re constantly doing it, so hopefully it keeps me shooting consistently and keeps my rhythm going.”
As a Cleveland assistant, Jent gained acclaim for helping LeBron James improve his shooting.
The Kings were looking to get McLemore easier shots. The addition of Rudy Gay to go with Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins also made McLemore less of a focus of offense.
Some of Jent’s work with McLemore focuses on him practicing on getting the ball in scoring areas.
“During pregame, we’ll go through different sets on the court, basically going through some of our plays that will go through me in a game,” McLemore said.
McLemore said he recognizes the technical flaws that hampered his shooting recently.
“Shooting the ball too fast,” McLemore said. “My release was too fast, and I wasn’t picking my spots on the floor correctly. But doing this routine is helping me balance right and get back to how I regularly shoot.”
Et cetera – Monday’s game was the Kings’ first meeting with Tyreke Evans since the offseason sign-and-trade that sent him to New Orleans. The player the Kings acquired in that deal, Greivis Vasquez, went to Toronto in the trade that brought Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray to Sacramento.
• The Kings’ Michael Malone faced his former boss in New Orleans, Monty Williams, for the first time as a head coach. As an assistant under Williams, Malone helped New Orleans reach the 2011 playoffs.
• Thomas extended his streak of 3-pointers to 21 games by making one with 5:51 left in the first quarter.