Five Kings scored in double figures as Sacramento beat the Chicago Bulls, 80-61, Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center.
It was the fourth consecutive win for Sacramento (4-1), which plays the winner between Washington and San Antonio in the summer league semifinals Sunday at 5 p.m.
Ben McLemore and MarShon Brooks led the Kings with 11 points apiece. Quincy Acy, Jared Cunningham and Brendan Lane each had 10 points.
The play of the bench stood out Saturday.
Besides Brooks, Cunningham and Lane, Eric Moreland had eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
“He’s 6-foot-9, he’s athletic, he’s long and has an unbelievable motor,” said Kings coach Michael Malone of Moreland. “I told him in front of the whole team, he goes in there and he makes stuff happen. His activity, his motor, his multiple-effort mindset bodes well for him and his future. ... He’s an energizer bunny.”
Lane, the Rocklin High School graduate, also had five rebounds, a block and a steal.
The more games the Kings win, the more chances their reserves have to impress the Kings and other possible employers.
“Great kid, smart kid, battles, has toughness,” Malone said of Lane. “But this is an audition for us as the Sacramento kings, for the 29 other teams as well as teams over in Europe. So those guys are really maxing out the opportunity given to them.”
Moreland, a rookie from Oregon State, has done that repeatedly with his defensive efforts and rebounding.
“That’s what they brought me in for, that’s what they wanted to see so I dont’ really worry about offense right now,” Moreland said.
Moreland checked into the game in the first quarter and immediately stuffed a dunk attempt by Chicago’s Lance Thomas.
“I can’t even sit here and tell you I know how to shot block, I just want it,” Moreland said. “When they go up I want to block the shot.”
The Kings have played much better since losing their summer league opener to San Antonio.
Now talk of simply improving has morphed into talk of winning the summer league tournament.
“There’s a part of me that’s hoping San Antonio wins this game tonight so that we have a chance to play them again and maybe clean up a lot of the things that gave us trouble in that Game 1 loss,” Malone said.
The Bulls (4-1) were led by Tony Snell with 20 points. High-scoring rookie Doug McDermott was held out of the game.