Ben McLemore wanted to show how much he’d worked on his game, he tried to do too much and it looked as if was regressing when the Kings began summer league.
“I was so anxious to go out there and play and moving too fast,” McLemore said of his first two games. “Not playing the game the way I was play the second half of the season in Sac.”
That’s changed over the last two games with McLemore playing better.
The Kings beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-86, Thursday at Cox Pavilion to advance to the summer league quarterfinals.
The Kings play the winner between Chicago and Philadelphia on Saturday.
McLemore led the way with 22 points. He also had six rebounds, for assists, a steal and a block.
“He slowed down (today),” said Kings head coach Michael Malone. “He stopped trying to do too much, too quickly. He slowed down, attacked, shot the ball, he was under control and he played terrific. I was really proud and happy because he’s worked so hard this summer.”
McLemore’s 14-for-21 shooting over the last two games has been a boost. He made just six of his first 18 shots over the first two games.
McLemore looked more comfortable handling the ball and finishing around the rim a lot better.
“The last couple of games I’ve been slowing down and the game’s been coming to me at my own pace,” McLemore said.
MarShon Brooks had 19 points off the bench to help the Kings (3-1) hold off a late run by Minnesota (1-4).
“You can put MarShon Brooks in any gym in the world and he’ll score,” Malone said. “He’s a professional scorer, that’s what he does. What I like about him is he’s been trying to do it within our offense instead of breaking off plays and trying to go one-on-one. He’s getting his points and his looks through our offense.”
Malone liked the pace the Kings played with, scoring at least 26 points in three of four quarters, shooting 60 percent and scoring 100 points in 40 minutes.
“We want that ball to move up the floor with the advance pass,” Malone said. “Not dribbling up. The ball will move quicker up the floor if we throw it up ahead.”
Alex Oriakhi, who came to the Kings from Phoenix in last week’s sign-and-trade for Isaiah Thomas, started at center and had six points.
Nik Stauaskas only had four points but did manage to have five assists.
Derrick Williams was not with the team. Malone said he’d planned to only have Williams play three games before allowing him to take the rest of summer league off.