The Kings will not endure a four-game losing streak to open summer league this year thanks to a 72-65 win over the Charlotte Hornets Sunday at Cox Pavilion.
The Kings received strong performances off the bench from Ra’shad James with 12 points and MarShon Brooks with 11.
James had the best plus/minus for the Kings with a plus-13. It was James and Brooks who helped hold off the Hornets with timely baskets.
• The Kings were beaten pretty bad on the glass, being outrebound 47-30. This is an area the Kings would like to see more from Derrick Williams, who is playing power forward in summer league.
Williams had only two rebounds. Quincy Acy had nine rebounds, as did Eric Moreland off the bench for Sacramento.
• After another slow start, Ben McLemore looked more comfortable in the second half.
McLemore started the game shooting 2-for-7 and finished 4-for-10 for 11 points.
McLemore shot five free throws, something the Kings want to see more of from him.
“Anytime Ben can get to the rim, finish and get to the free throw line, now he’s utilizing all his talents he has,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “When he relies on just being a jump shooter he’s selling himself short.”
• Rudy Gay attended the game, too. A few things from him:
On the reception from fans when he was deciding whether to opt in for next season:
“It meant a lot. Everyone says it but I honestly do think we have the best fans in the NBA. They’re supportive and I didn’t expect that. It kind of shows how much people love me. That’s a big thing when you’re trying to decide what to do.”
On settling in Sacramento:
“Apart from the team, the fans are great. We have a great owner, a great coach, a great GM and it’s good. Good to be there, good to be wanted and it’s a great place for a family. but obviously at this point i want to win and I’ll see what we can do from here on out.”
On losing Isaiah Thomas:
“It’s 20 points a game, it’s tough. We were one of the top scoring teams in the league and obviously the defense didn’t match up but we have to figure out a way to make it happen.”